Red Bank, N.J., (November 15, 2019) – Today HABCORE broke ground on a 4-unit expansion project on River Street in Red Bank. Funds have been donated by generous community individuals as well as New Jersey Natural Gas, the Lydia Collins deForest Charitable Trust, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ National Housing Trust Fund, and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.
HABCORE is a nonprofit organization in Red Bank, NJ that provides permanent housing and supportive services to homeless veterans, families and individuals with special needs in Monmouth and Ocean counties. Its mission is to provide permanent housing and individualized support, helping homeless families, veterans, and individuals with special needs move through crisis to stability, giving them the opportunity to improve their lives.
This is the first time the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation has donated to permanent housing for the formerly homeless in Monmouth County. “The River Street project presented a unique opportunity for the Foundation to help realize our two-fold mission of ending the cycle of homelessness and hunger in the Red Bank community,” said Heather Goldfarb, Executive Director of JBJ Soul Foundation. “We are pleased to partner with HABCORE to provide affordable housing to those in need, while continuing our support in the community through JBJ Soul Kitchen and JBJ & PBC Hope & Comfort Warming Center, all within walking distance of one another.”
Housing in Monmouth and Ocean counties is scarce and unaffordable for many. In 1988 HABCORE was formed to house the homeless when three Red Bank men froze to death on the streets of Red Bank during a harsh winter. The agency was named HABCORE in the memory of those men whose initials began with H, A, and B. Over the past 31 years HABCORE has continued to meet the needs of the previously homeless in both congregate and independent living settings.
HABCORE now has 300 residents living across Monmouth and Ocean counties including 60 families with 100 children. Residents represent a formerly homeless population of very-low-income families, veterans, and individuals with special needs.
HABCORE’s goal is to grow continuously to meet the needs of the 665 estimated homeless in the Monmouth-Ocean region. “This generosity enables HABCORE to increase the number of affordable, supportive units in Red Bank by building onto the existing 100-year-old duplex which we’ve owned since 1992,” said Steve Heisman, Executive Director. “We have a distinguished track record for expanding services to meet the rising need for housing while continuously improving support to residents.”
As part of HABCORE’s Independent Living Program, the residents will receive supportive services, such as training in job acquisition skills and financial literacy.
Approved unanimously by the Red Bank Zoning Board of Adjustment, the project will make the first floor units wheel chair accessible with a motorized lift on the front of the property. A laundry room will be added in a breezeway connecting the older structure with the new addition, and a fire suppression system will be installed to serve both structures. All construction will be energy efficient.
Elected officials whose districts represent HABCORE’s service area praise its programs and the vital need it addresses:
“HABCORE is a true leader in our Monmouth County community,” said Senator Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch). “So many New Jersey families have been touched by their dedicated efforts, and this funding will allow HABCORE ore to continue to aid more households in need. Thank you to all of the staff, volunteers, and supporters who make HABcore’s mission possible.”
“When addressing homelessness, housing has to be the first part of any solution,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold), who chairs the Human Services Committee in the State Assembly. “We’re grateful to HABCORE for all of their efforts to support underserved families, and will continue to do all we can to make sure that they can continue this critical work.”
“Our communities are better off because of HABCORE’s contributions,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune). “This funding for their efforts in Red Bank is a clear statement that New Jersey will continue to prioritize the needs of our most vulnerable residents, and I look forward to seeing how HABCORE core will use this funding to serve local families.”