Nov-03-16 Christie Administration Assists Homeless and At-Risk Veterans
Labor Department Partners with Community Organizations at Fifth Annual Veterans Stand Down
WHIPPANY, N.J., November 3, 2016 – Today the Christie Administration joined approximately 50 government agencies and nonprofit organizations at the Fifth Annual Veterans Stand Down event. The daylong event hosted at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center in Whippany provided homeless and at-risk veterans with access to basic physical needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical support as well as social services, veteran benefits, employment assistance, addiction counseling and legal services.
“These courageous men and women have sacrificed so much in service of our nation. It is our obligation to help them in every way possible,” said Acting Commissioner Aaron R. Fichtner, Ph.D., of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “Our department participates in this great event every year to help homeless and at-risk veterans connect with the services necessary to set them on a path to economic opportunity and self-sufficiency.”
Acting Commissioner Fichtner attended the event and distributed bagged lunches to the 300 veterans in attendance. Also on hand were staff from the Department of Labor’s One-Stop Career Centers, the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the New Jersey State Parole Board.
The Stand Down was hosted by Community Hope, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving veterans and veteran families from homelessness. Stand Down is a military term used when service members are removed from combat to rehabilitate and rest. Today, Stand Downs are grass roots, community-based intervention programs to help homeless veterans battle life on the streets.
The Department of Labor and Workforce Development works with more than 12,000 veterans per year in its 29 One-Stop Career Centers throughout the state. The department maintains a staff of approximately 40 veteran representatives, most of whom are former military personnel, who assist veterans in developing resumes that properly communicate their aptitude and skill sets to employers. The representatives also assist veterans with networking skills and match veterans to job openings.
Veterans seeking employment are encouraged to contact State Veterans Program Coordinator O. Wayne Smith at Ottis.Smith@dol.nj.gov or visit veterans staff at the nearest One-Stop Career Center. More information about the department’s veterans services can be found here. More information about Community Hope can be found here.
Acting Labor Commissioner Aaron R. Fichtner, Ph.D., (left) volunteered as a guide, helping veterans
access services from the more than 50 service organizations at the event.
Acting Commissioner Fichtner (far right) also helped distribute bagged lunches to the homeless and
at-risk veterans in attendance.