Monmouth County held a groundbreaking ceremony this week for the County’s new adult homeless shelter on property conveyed to them by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) that will offer temporary housing, counseling and other services to individuals until more permanent housing and treatment services are identified.

It replaces the former emergency homeless shelter which was lost during Super Storm Sandy with the individuals moved to another center.

The 4,500-square-foot shelter will have a 12-bed dorm for men, a four-bed dorm for women, separate restrooms and showers for men and women, a laundry room, a clothing sorting and storage room, a counseling office and a security desk.

The central resident common area has a kitchen and pantry, a 16-person dining area, a computer nook and a seating area with a television.

Shelter services are funded by the County and administered by The Affordable Housing Alliance.

The future site of the shelter currently houses an 11,500 square-foot building, parking areas and concrete pads and ramps that will all be demolished, making way for the new shelter.

“Monmouth County has a responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves due to any number of circumstances,” Freeholder Director Tom Arnone said. “We are able to hold this groundbreaking today due to an all-out cooperative effort between the County and FMERA.  We are grateful to everyone who has had a hand in getting us to where we are today – thank you for your vision and support.”

Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian G. Burry who is a long-time advocate for veterans and individuals facing homelessness and other debilitating issues is a member of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority where she chairs the Veterans Affairs sub-committee and serves on the real estate sub-committee.

“Issues surrounding homelessness and life challenges are the essence of my years in elected office," Burry said. “This groundbreaking milestone for a new shelter that will provide a temporary safe haven for homeless adults and lead them onto a path to a better quality of life is what my years of service are all about."

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