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Jun
2016
21

Apt Complex for Homeless Vets, Built by Union Volunteers, Prepares to Open Jersey City Doors

jersey city homeless veterans apartment

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An apartment complex for homeless veterans in Jersey City, New Jersey is ready to house its first tenants according to representatives for the public-private partnership that helped make it a reality. The Jersey City Redevelopment Authority and the Hudson County Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC) say the eight-unit complex was built with volunteer labor using materials donated by contractors on land owned by the city.  

A press conference was held to announce the progress; construction began late last year.  On hand was Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Hudson County Freeholder Bill O’Dea, and BCTC President Patrick Kelleher.  

Mayor Fulop, himself a former Marine, praised the project:

“This is an example of many segments of Jersey City’s society – unions, contractors and public servants – joining together to help homeless veterans who served our nation.  I’m proud that our city is taking this step to offer a helping hand to those who deserve it, people who fought for our nation, but have fallen on hard times. Together, we can help them get back on their feet.”

The project helped more than just a handful of homeless veterans in Jersey City.  Participating in the construction process were apprentice trainees of the Increasing Minority Participation and Access to Construction Trades (IMPACT) program.  The program gives pre-apprenticeship opportunities to women and minorities, helping them to prepare for a union apprenticeship that will eventually lead to a stable, middle class career.  

Project IMPACT is a collaboration between the Hudson County Building Trades, the South Hudson Civic Association, Jersey City, and the American Reinvestment Company.  

In a statement, Hudson County BCTC President Kelleher said:

“This is a worthy cause that will strengthen our community.  Projects like this are making a difference in our community. We also hope to recruit some of the veterans to be apprentices so they can be put on a pathway to meaningful careers.”

As we reported in December, Project IMPACT was launched with assistance and support from former basketball player and Newark resident Shaquille O’Neal.  

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