NJ Homeless Motels - My9 New Jersey

NJ Homeless Motels

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Brownsville, New Jersey (My9NJ) - Some motels throughout the New Jersey have been repurposed by the state to help house the homeless.

Due to lack of affordable housing in New Jersey, some low-income earners and the homeless are finding themselves living in motels on the taxpayer’s dime.

Madeline Mears-Sheldon with the Christian Caring Center says that these living arrangements are costing taxpayers millions of dollars. “Anywhere from $1,200 to $1,700 a month depending on the size of the room,” she said.

Rosemary is a former homeless woman and mother of two who discussed why she is relying on these motels for shelter. “I don’t really have a place to go. It’s as safe I guess as any other place would be. (But there are) drugs in the area, the different people you know, not a great place to have kids,” she said.

Madeline also believes that sometimes these motels are just as unsafe as the streets and this is not the solution to the growing homeless problem. “There’s prostitution, there’s crime that happens here and there’s addiction that happens here,” she said.

However, those who rely on these motels for a place to live feel like it’s been a lifesaver. They are able to get out of the cold, they have shelter and a roof over their head, food, laundry and sometimes jobs are provided and many are receiving welfare which also directly pays the motel for their stay there.

Hassan Kmal has been a resident of one of the motels for five months now. He’s grateful for the help he is receiving there. “I experienced to the level of incarceration. I lost my home as a result of it and I’m starting all over again so I went to Mount Holly social services and here I am starting all over again. It beats being in the streets for sure,” he said.


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