JERSEY CITY, N.J., June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A public-private partnership, which includes volunteer union labor and materials from contractors, is building an eight-unit apartment complex for homeless veterans. The transitional housing, which is under construction on public land owned by the City of Jersey, will be a tremendous boost to veterans who helped defend our nation.
On Saturday, Mayor Steven Fulop, Hudson County Freeholder Bill O'Dea and the Hudson County Building and Construction Trades Council President Patrick Kelleher announced that the project on Ocean Avenue is nearing completion, and will soon house its first tenants. The Jersey City Redevelopment authority has helped with the planning, and the United Way will provide services to the vets.
"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," said Mayor Fulop, who left a Wall Street firm after the 9/11 attacks to join the Marines and serve in Iraq. "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."
Hudson County Freeholder O'Dea and the Hudson County Building and Construction Trades Council President Patrick Kelleher noted that apprentice trainees from the Project IMPACT (Increasing Minority Participation and Access to Construction Trades) are also volunteering on the project. The program, a collaboration between the Hudson County Building Trades, South Hudson Civic Association, the City of Jersey City, and the American Reinvestment Company, assists area minorities and women in becoming union apprentices. To date, 189 people have been through the program, with 119 applying to join a trade and 45 thus far securing positions as first-year apprentices and pre-apprentices.
Mr. Kelleher said the trade union members and the apprentices are proud to participate in the veterans housing project. "This is a worthy cause that will strengthen our community," he said. "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."
Freeholder O'Dea, who is a strong supporter of Project IMPACT, applauded public-private partnerships, saying, "Government can't fix every problem, and the private sector can't fix every problem. But working together we can address some of the issues that are limiting opportunities for people in our community. This project is a major step forward for homeless vets in Jersey City."
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SOURCE American Reinvestment Company