Hoboken Office of Constituent Services hires their first two social workers


The Hoboken Office of Constituent Services has hired their first two social workers: Lori Hetzel and Bianca Hoffer, who will worker under director Nora Martínez DeBenedetto.

rom left to right: Public Safety Director Ken Ferrante, Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla, Head of Constituent Services Nora Martínez DeBenedetto, Bianca Hoffer, and Lori Hetzel. Photos courtesy of the City of Hoboken.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to bring to Hoboken my experience of connecting families with community resources and government programs,” said Hetzel.

“As a proud graduate of Hoboken High School, I’m honored to have the opportunity to give back to the community that raised me,” said Hoffer.

Hoffer and Hetzel will support Hobokenites experiencing homelessness, facing food and housing insecurity, and needing mental health support services by connecting them with established care providers and resources.

Hoffer will earn an annual salary of $80,000, while Hetzel will receive $75,000 a year, a city spokeswoman said.

“Connecting our residents in need of food, shelter, and mental health services to existing programs is needed more than ever after the pandemic,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.

“Creating the new social worker roles is critical to providing them with the support that will help our residents get back on their feet. I look forward to working with Lori and Bianca as they begin to bridge the gap between residents in need and the programs that are available to them.”

Additionally, the two new hires will provide advice and counsel to clients, referred by the Hoboken Police Department, on topics like abuse, family disputes, and juvenile delinquency, among others.

The constituent services office, which was reestablished about a year ago, coordinates inquiries and requests with city departments and agencies on behalf of residents on a variety of topics.

Those include the handling of counseling and referrals for social services, tenant assistance, housing and employment inquiries, violations of City codes, and general questions regarding available city services.

The Office of Constituent Services is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. To make an appointment, call (201) 420 – 2000 ext. 1311 or email ndebenedetto@hobokennj.gov.

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  1. People complain that the Mayor doesn’t do enough for all members of the community. Then they complain when he grows the Office of Constituent Offices.

    People complain that the City doesn’t get out public safety information fast enough. Then they complain when someone is brought in specifically to fill that need.

    This literally the definition of responding to what people are asking for. And yes, it takes money to make things happen. I just don’t understand the negative backlash.

    If people hate this City so much, just leave already. I love this City and constantly having to read people sh*ting on it is just getting old.

    • @Will Anything, don’t pay attention to the perpetual whiners and crybabies. In truth, it’s only one or two sad guys who have no life, using numerous screen names. they just spew MAGA-level nuttiness at anything the city does.

  2. Because these are things he should be doing himself? Hiring a constituent services person to listen to his constituents, ok he gets that. Hiring a separate PR person, ok fair. Then those people folow his example and suddenly thy need extra aides too. How come Dawn did all this alone? Just a question, not an answer. I have opinions but I’d like to hear someone ask him this.