The City of Hoboken contributed $330,000 for capital improvements to the Hoboken Homeless Shelter yesterday, which provides over 500 meals a day, housing for 50 guests a night and 1,000 showers a week, officials said.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Ward 6 Councilwoman Jen Giattino and Hoboken Shelter Executive Director Jaclyn Cherubini explained how the funding will go towards the a variety of improvements for the Hoboken shelter, including an emergency generator, renovation of showers and restrooms, expansion of the HVAC system, water sprinkler fire suppression system, energy efficiency measures, and much more.
This is one of the three homeless shelters in Hudson County and is the only facility that provides three meals daily.
Cherubini explained that the goal of Hoboken Homeless Shelter is really moving people in need from the streets to the shelters and ultimately to their own homes by becoming financial independent through these jobs.
One shelter guest also volunteered to speak on behalf of the shelter and explain how it has improved his quality of life for over seven years.
“Seven-and-a-half years and the Hoboken shelter has my back. They come here to eat, get clothes, drink water, get of out the cold … its like an outsider family,” he said through tears.
Zimmer also received questions from shelter guests regarding job training programs and making city jobs more available to them.
Cherubini made it clear that the city is working closely with the shelter by providing job training for the shelter guests.
“Two of our guests have been hired from the city of Hoboken this past year in the traffic control department,” she said.
“And in the spring of 2016, we have partnered with eth city of Hoboken in the bike share program, so we are going to need trained mechanics and sales associates and different customer services representatives to be employed and the city has committed for the shelter guest to be employees for this program.”
Hudson County View also asked Zimmer what the city is doing in terms of the growing consensus of homelessness and poverty since the Hoboken Homeless Shelter is at capacity every night with 50 guests and the overflow.
“We are creating a partnership between the Hoboken shelter and the American Legion and putting together an application and gathering support for a shelter for homeless veterans so we are applying for six vouchers,” Zimmer explained.
“That application will go out next week. I am working very hard to hold the developers accountable.”
According to the mayor, there is a potential of adding 55 units of affordable housing to the city.
“We need to be in the position where we can respond to people’s needs and we need for all of Hudson County to be working on that. “