Lakewood’s Tent City Comes To Studio - My9 New Jersey

Lakewood’s Tent City Comes To Studio

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    Meg continues to chase the ongoing issues surrounding tent cities in New Jersey.  She's already visited Lakewood and Camden and plans to head out to Newark this week.
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Lakewood, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

Lakewood’s Tent City Piano Man, organizer Minister Steve and filmmaker Jack Ballo visited Chasing New Jersey’s studios to discuss the recent reports that the show did regarding the tented community.

Some residents of this tent city took issue with the coverage and some things that were said including questing why some of them don’t get a job and find housing in New Jersey.

Minister Steve pointed out that 40% of the residents there actually do have jobs, but it’s still not enough to get them back on their feet. “It costs about $24 an hour for a single individual in this area of New Jersey to afford the basic cost of living. A one-bedroom apartment, a used automobile and the basic cost of living requires $24 an hour, and if you don’t have that safety net, if you don’t have that family to fall back on then you fall in the gap.” He said.

Unfortunately some residents there are also struggling with mental illness or addiction making it almost impossible for them to get or hold a job. “It’s typical homelessness across America. That’s no different; whoever is homeless comes into tent city so it’s the same homelessness you see in Atlantic City or New York City rescue missions somewhere.” Minister Steve said.

Piano Man Michael spoke up about comments that were made regarding the cleanliness of these tent cities and information that he felt was inaccurate. “If tent city was so unsanitary, there are officials there all the time, if it was that unsanitary it would be closed down and fined.” He said.

Michael described how he is currently working on rehabilitating animals and that people have suggested he start playing the piano at local restaurants or shops for tips which he is also looking into.

In the end, people in these Tent City’s need help. There needs to be more exposure and compassion for these people that fell on hard times.

For a more in depth look into how these residents live you can check out the Documentary “Destiny’s Bridge” by Director Jack Ballo which will be airing at the Lowes Theater in Toms River on November 7th.

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