Homeless Veterans Grant Program Supported by Assemblymen DiMaio and Peterson

Homeless veterans in New Jersey would benefit from a program established as part of a proposal passed by the General Assembly today.

Assembly Bill 2011, also known as the New Jersey Homeless Veterans Grant Program Act, would establish a competitive grant program for organizations that assist homeless veterans. The grants would be funded by voluntary contributions on the state’s gross income tax returns. Taxpayers would be able to donate any amount they want to the fund.

 Assemblymen John DiMaio and Erik Peterson, representatives of the 23rd District in Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren Counties, are co-sponsors of the bill.

“Tragically, there are an estimated 8,000 homeless veterans in New Jersey” Assemblyman DiMaio said. “These grants will be one more component to our current assistance programs such as Veterans Haven transitional housing and Stand Down program, which assist those in need of housing, rehabilitation and other necessary services.”

Monies collected from the income tax contributions would be appropriated to the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs to be used exclusively for the grant program. The Legislature may deposit additional funds into the account as it deems appropriate.

“New Jersey residents contributed more than $750,000 in 2010 to 15 worthy causes such as Nongame Wildlife, Children’s Trust and Vietnam Memorial Funds,” said Assemblyman Peterson. I am confident that the people of New Jersey will contribute to those who have sacrificed to protect our freedom.”

The Senate companion bill was approved by the Military and Veteran’s Affairs Committee and is awaiting action by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

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