photo courtesy of Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Glen Rock NJ, The Division of Veteran Services of Bergen County today hosted the opening of two apartments in newly refurbished supportive housing at 23 Kenmore Place for two formerly homeless and disabled veterans and their children. The day featured 12 community partners who worked with Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, the Bergen County Board of Commissioners, and the Division to fully furnish the apartments.
“Veterans are an incredibly important part of Bergen County and always will be,” said County Executive Tedesco. “No veteran should ever be homeless which is why we are proud to celebrate this opportunity to help two veterans and their families move into a long-awaited safe, secure, comfortable and healthy living environment. We refuse to stop there when it comes to helping out veteran community. Our veterans are the reason why we enjoy the many freedoms we have today and that is why we will never stop working for veterans and their families while they serve and after they serve.”
“We are thrilled to see the house completely refurbished and ready for the arrival of two formerly homeless and disabled veterans and their children. The unique public and private partnership that made this possible is a testament to our commitment in Bergen County to ensure that the needs of all our veterans are met,” said Bergen County Commissioner Steven A. Tanelli.
“The answer to homelessness is a home – but four walls is not truly sufficient. Comfortable furnishings provide safe and healthy living, and inspire families to take their next step towards a better future. Working with the County and this extraordinary group of sponsors to furnish this beautiful apartment will surely make a difference in the lives of this deserving veteran and her children,” said Cynthia Massarsky, director of Making-It-Home.
Nouvelle, LLC, a commercial/residential design and construction firm and developer of affordable housing, completed the renovation and refurbishing of the multi-family dwelling on the tree-lined street in Glen Rock. The housing has two units – a three-bedroom/1.5 bath unit on the first floor and basement; and a two-bedroom/1 bath unit on the second floor. Continuing the tradition of serving our veterans in need, the developer designated the properties for rent for homeless and disabled veterans and their families.
Applications for the apartments were publicized widely and were open to disabled veterans with special needs. The Housing Authority of Bergen County and the Division of Veteran Services determined applicant eligibility. Each apartment has fixtures and appliances, but was unfurnished because, unfortunately, the veterans who will be renting the apartments have limited income and little-to-no ability to purchase bedding or furniture.
So Making-It-Home, a nonprofit program of Bergen Volunteers, joined with 11 community partners (see list below) in a collaborative effort to provide furnishings and household items for the new residents. The veterans and their children will receive living room, dining and bedroom furniture at no cost to them. Generous sponsors also contributed additional items including televisions, vacuums, small kitchen appliances, kitchenware, bath supplies, food, gift cards – and even bicycles.
The following are the partnering groups and organizations who helped furnish the apartments:
Rotary Club Military Family Assistance Center
NJ Veteran Stakeholder Group
Homes for Veterans
B4VOIN (Bikes for Veterans and Others in Need)
The socially-distanced ribbon cutting also commemorated the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance – in honoring the victims of the attacks, acknowledging the value of service to those in need, and supporting our veterans who have shown such extraordinary dedication, bravery, and commitment to protecting the freedoms of all Americans.