OCEANPORT: A day center for homeless families will be housed at Fort Monmouth in the coming months.
Building 501, which was previously the home of an Army substance abuse program, will be used by Family Promise. Family Promise helps homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence.
"It's not a residential facility, it's a day center for homeless families to get counseling, do their laundry, look for jobs and at night they get transported to a local church," FMERA Director of Facilities Planning explained at the August meeting. "Churches who sign up with Family Promise take these families in for about a week, they feed them their evening meals and during the day Family Promise, if the folks don't have vehicles, will transport them back and forth to school or work. They do not live at the counseling center, and it's actually the same use that the building had when the Army was here."
The 2,800-square-foot building, which is located just off main road which runs through the fort, will serve as their new day center and will cost much less to maintain than its current Aberdeen location, according to a building campaign by Family Promise
FMERA Executive Director Bruce Steadman said this facility should bot be confused with the county homeless shelter which is located off of Murphy Drive in the Oceanport section of the fort, near what will soon be the Oceanport Police Department headquarters.
He explained that the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) requires each community to prepare a homeless assistance plan and that Building 501 was included in Oceanport's homeless housing obligations.
A purchase and sale agreement between FMERA and Family Promise was set to be acted upon at Aug. 2 FMERA meeting, but the agenda item was pulled.
"The reason it has been taken off is because there's been a continuance of some final language and terms associated with the purchase and sale agreement that we just couldn't get ironed out at the last minute," Steadman said.