Is the “What I Need App” a Win?

By Zion Lee

On January 16th, 2020, the City of Trenton released the “What I Need” or “WIN” App for individuals (ages 16-24) who are affected by homelessness. While this app is new to the Trenton-Mercer County area, it already is a resource provided in Los Angeles, California. It is advertised to help link users to resources such as “shelter, crisis, food, drop-in centers, health, legal, hotlines, education, jobs, transportation, benefits, and more”. There are some reviews about the app from users in California we need to know if this is a viable resource here in Mercer County. The Streetlight, decided to download the WIN App and see if it is a useful resource for our readers.

At first, it seems as though nothing could go wrong with the WIN application. The app has an easily navigable menu that is colorful and has images representing the type of resource available to users on the app: such as a phone icon for hotlines and a bed icon for shelters. Each resource is categorized by type of necessity for ease of access. Also, there is a map function that displays the local area and the locations of the programs associated with the WIN app. However, after tinkering with the app we discovered that the app requires an internet connection to properly function. Thus, this app would only be fully helpful if used in locations where internet access is available. Furthermore, the app is targeted at a very narrow age group, specifically marketed to help youth combat homelessness, which leaves out a large population of people who are still affected by homelessness. In addition, whilst keeping the app on our phone, it would only give us notifications from Californian shelters and resource providers, despite selecting the Trenton, NJ option when setting up the app. Such notifications can be confusing for individuals who are not in the California area. Through our observations, it is evident that Trenton’s WIN app clearly needs more time to improve.

As of now, the Trenton WIN App clearly has a lot of potential to become an amazing resource. In due time, the app will likely develop into a great resource for the 16-24 aged individuals who struggle with homelessness and have access to a smartphone with the internet. Furthermore, in times such as the COVID-19 quarantine where everything is remote, The Streetlight recognizes the value of having an electronic resource that is easy to access. No one knows for certain exactly what will happen in the future, however, with improvements such as an offline map that still displays the locations of resources and real-time notifications for the Mercer County area, the app seems to be a great internet tool. However, for anyone that does not fit the age range the app is designed for or does not have access to a smart device with internet, please check out the Streetlight resource guide!

06/02/2020- The City of Trenton has responded to The Streetlight and has “put in a request” to solve the “Win” App’s location issues to ensure there is no “confusion in services”.

Covid Cannot Stop Meals On Wheels

By Hannah Keyes

Meals on Wheels of Mercer County (MOWMC) is one of the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that seeks to address both the nutritional and social needs of its participants. This includes homebound elderly and disabled individuals who cannot shop for or prepare food for themselves and are often living in hunger and isolation.

According to a new survey conducted by Meals on Wheels (MOW) of America, every 4 out of 5 MOW programs have reported that their demand has at least doubled since the start of COVID-19. Given the current situation of the pandemic, those who are older and more susceptible to sickness are at higher risk and are extremely vulnerable during this time. There are now more seniors staying in their homes and requiring help.

Additional studies from MOW of America reveal that 1 in 4 seniors live alone and 1 in 5 feel lonely. Thus, MOW makes it a priority to see to it that their participants not only receive warm meals but that they are greeted by a friendly face. The program relies heavily on their volunteers who deliver meals as they not only give participants their food but interact with them and form meaningful relationships. Sasa Olessi Montaño, the Chief Executive Officer of the Mercer County branch, as well as a member who serves on the national board of Meals on Wheels of America stated, “Our secret sauce is that daily contact.”

However, the virus has caused the staff of MOWMC to have to adjust their normal operations. All volunteers are now required to wear masks and gloves as they provide a “touchless delivery”, wherein they knock on the participant’s door or window, hang the meal (in a bag) on the door, and walk away at least six feet and wait to make eye contact with the participant so that they know they will get their meal. There has also been a calling feature implemented where more seasoned volunteers will call participants and check-in to see how they are doing. This provides the “secret sauce” of daily interaction that is missing from the new touchless delivery. Additionally, MOWMC is participating in the new “Feed a Senior, Help a Restaurant” and “Hospitality Works” programs. These are a means through which to provide for seniors, local restaurants, and hardworking medical staff.

The MOWMC delivers meals in East Windsor, Ewing, Hightstown, Princeton, Trenton, West Windsor, Lawrence, and specific areas within Hamilton. The program is funded federally, however, it is significantly underfunded and is mostly aided through community support. Private dollars are raised in order to ensure that no one is turned away. MOWMC is partnered with Gourmet Dining at Rider University to provide hot meals to its participants Monday through Friday every week. Weekend meals can also be made available to participants. There are two different meal plan options (A and B), they both consist of one hot meal that includes meat/pasta and two sides, as well as one cold bag that includes milk, bread, salad, and dessert. All meals are low sodium and diabetic friendly and can be catered towards the individual’s dietary restrictions.
Olessi Montaño labels MOW as a “comprehensive nutrition program” rather than simply a social service program. It offers nutrition education and counseling for those who have limited food options or are immuno-compromised. Olessi Montaño states, “Our meals are therapeutic in nature, which means that we work with our participants to identify their diets. Whatever their therapeutic need is, our meals are tailored to it and we work with them on that.”
In addition to home-delivered meals, MOWMC offers several other smaller programs such as their Pet Pantry where bi-weekly pet food bags are distributed to participants who own animals. The Books on Wheels program allows volunteers to deliver books to participants through the Trenton Public Library. There are also “Holiday Meals” for participants who will be alone during the holidays, “Blizzard Bags” for inclement weather, and shelf-stable groceries that are delivered once a month.

If one is interested in being served through or volunteering for Meals on Wheels, please contact through email, info@mealsonwheelsmercer.org, or call (609)-695-3483.

Trenton Water Works Disappoints Once Again

By Gabrielle Wells

There are over 83,000 people living in Trenton, New Jersey alone, and in this densely populated city, thousands of people rely on the Trenton Water Works (TWW) to supply them with clean drinking water. TWW describes itself as one of the largest publicly owned urban water utilities in America. According to their website, they supply 27 million gallons of Delaware River Sourced drinking water per day to thousands of customers located in the Mercer County area. Their geographical reach includes Trenton, parts of Hamilton Township, Ewing Township, Lawrence Township, and Hopewell Township, often reaching around 225,000 people.

Although TWW states that their goal is to supply clean drinking water to thousands of residents in Mercer County, they have often fell short of this goal. Over the years, residents have complained about contamination, discoloration, and boil water advisories and TWW’s lack of communication in alerting its consumers about the hazards of their water content. One constant and recurring problem is their repeated Boil Water Advisory Notices. The most recent Boil Water Advisory was issued September 27th, 2019. This notice stated, “Trenton Water Works is advising residents in Trenton, Hamilton Township, Ewing Township, Lawrence Township, and Hopewell Township to boil your water until further notice. Chlorination levels (a water disinfection process) are too low due to an equipment malfunction in TWW’s water-distribution system. TWW personnel are working to rectify the problem.” The notice then went on to advise residents to feed household pets with bottled water, to not swallow water while in the shower, and to continue to boil water in order to make sure that all bacteria are killed.

Even though the boil water advisory was issued in September 2019, residents still complained in December about the quality of water coming from their pipes, claiming that water was coming out of the taps purple or pink, which TWW explained was due to a water treatment chemical that was safe to ingest.
The constant testing has unearthed a much bigger problem, which is the presence of lead in the drinking water. According to TWW’s lead program, lead can get in the water via old lead services lines already connecting older homes and buildings to the water main. As water travels through these service lines, the corrosion on the lines add lead into the treated water leading to contamination of water delivered to consumers. Lead can be very toxic and as a result the EPA requires that every water system must contain no more than 15 parts of lead per billion in tap water. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that no amount of lead ingestion is safe.
According to the Trenton Water Works Annual Consumer Confidence Report for 2019, 12 out of 102 areas tested revealed to have 19.7 parts per billion of lead located in the water from January to June. From July to December, 12 out of 106 areas tested revealed to have 17 parts per billion of lead located in the water. These results are way over the limit of the EPA guidelines and can have damaging effects on the population.

Constant ingestion of lead can have many negative health effects and can even prove to be deadly. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, levels of lead in water systems should be at zero because lead can bioaccumulate over time and become harmful to the body. The most at-risk population to exposure is young children and infants due to the fact that lower exposure than adults can still prove to have significant physical and behavioral effects. The EPA states that lead exposure can cause damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, shorter stature, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells.According to the EPA’s website, low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in future behavior and learning problems, lower IQ , hyperactivity, anemia, hearing problems, and slow growth. In rare cases ingestion can cause coma, seizures and even result in death in children. In adults lead exposure can lead to cardiovascular effects, increased blood pressure, decreased kidney function, and reproductive problems.

On January 9th, 2020 Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora officially started the Trenton Water Works $150-million Lead Service Line Replacement Program in efforts to protect residents from lead in their water. According to TWW website, this program will include upgrades to the water-filtration plant and water-distribution system, decentralized water storage, in-house engineering, improved security, control technology, facilities upgrades, and heavy equipment replacements. Mayor Gusciora stated, “Our plan is to remove all lead services from TWW’s system within five years, in addition to making significant upgrades to TWW’s water-filtration plant, water-distribution system, and facilities.” The new program will replace around 36,700 lead and galvanized steel water service lines within five years. In December, construction has already started to fix the lead lines, ahead of the official announcement from Mayor Gusciora and will continue for the next couple of years. One can only wonder if Trenton Water Works will deliver on its promise or once again fail the people of Trenton and other townships.

The Census Counts on You

By Kristine Spike

Once every ten years, the U.S. government conducts the census. This started back in 1790 and is critical as the census accounts for numerous aspects. Often argued to be the most notable is the fact that the census is responsible for the number of seats each state receives in the House of Representatives. However, the census also determines the amount of government funding different areas receive. This includes programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP), etc. One issue with the census presents itself time and time again. Are individuals being underrepresented or missed in the census count? This directly correlates to the amount of funding that areas receive, and it is no coincidence that the underrepresented areas are the ones that lack a multitude of resources, as well as areas with a large number of people experiencing homelessness.

For the first time in history the census is now available online. This is revolutionary and makes the census more accessible to millions of people; however, this still poses a huge problem. There are an estimated 19 million Americans who do not have fixed broadband services. That being said, efforts have been made in Mercer County to make sure that everyone is accounted for through Complete Count Committees. People need to know that the census is taking place before they can worry about filling it out. The federal government has commercials, and mail advertisements, but for people with limited internet/TV access and no mailing address, these are not effective measures.

Complete Count Committees in Mercer County have utilized resources such as ad space on billboards,in bus terminals, and on busses themselves, and have canvassed at various community locations. The advertisements are marketed to certain target groups. They specifically incorporate messages for groups that have had low response rates in the past. For example, Black and Latino men ages 15-28, and people with disabilities are featured on the advertisements and billboards due to their lack of representation in the prior census. Also, members of the committee have gone door to door and even to shelters leaving fliers with information on what the census is and how to fill it out. These have been distributed in Spanish and English in order to reach as many people as possible.
After ensuring people know about the census, the second phase is helping people complete it. There are three ways to complete the census: online, by phone, or paper (mail) response. In order to help with online responses, The Complete Count Committees have set up various access centers where people can come in and quickly complete the census. These areas currently closed due to Covid-19 but will reopen when deemed safe. Another option is by phone. By calling 844-330-2020 (English speakers) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish speakers) people are given the option to efficiently answer the questions through the phone. Note there are also 59 other languages the census is offered in, see (2020census.gov for full listing).

The committees have been working tirelessly to ensure that as many people in Mercer county are counted as possible. Currently, the response rate is at 49.2% for the county; however, the closer that number is to 100% the better. Additionally, it is important to note that particular areas fall beneath that number. Trenton for example is currently only at a 30% response rate, well under the current response rate. It is important that all communities within Mercer are counted.

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has made the committees change some of their plans. Tarry Truitt, a consultant for the Trenton Area Nonprofit Complete Count Committee, has called it, “an interesting time.” Recent events have shown just how important representation is. The census is taken into account when roads are built/repaired, where shopping plazas are located, and even where hospitals are built. It is truly crucial that people in Mercer county are accounted for. Since most people are not able to leave their homes currently, the social media that was already being utilized to draw attention to the census is now receiving a second wind. Of course, commercials and videos are being utilized, but there has also been a push to get advertisements in local newspapers as this reaches more of the individuals in the target audience. Plans are being made to reach as many people as possible once the country reopens due to COVID-19.

The census has been extended until August 14th, fill it out- Everyone Counts.

Kimberley Lennon: A Face at ArtSpace

By McKenna Samson

Kimberley Lennon sat at the corner of a work table at ArtSpace, drinking juice from her cup as we began our interview. We began discussing the origins of her artistry. 

“I started doing art when I was five. I really discovered that it was a passion around nine. My Kindergarten teacher bought my first piece of art. She paid $50 for a crayon drawing of flowers. She told me that ‘I know you’re gonna get really big, I want to buy your first piece’…she made me sign it, too.” Lennon said. The support of her teacher, especially at a young age, encouraged her to continue to cultivate her talents and expand her art. 

In 2007, Lennon found herself, a single mother, in a shelter. She made her way to ArtSpace at Homefront. The mothers at ArtSpace were instructed to attend art classesfor stress relief, and that’s where Kimberley Lennon crossed paths with Ruthann Traylor, the Director of ArtSpace. Lennon loved the creative space, as it allowed for her and the other women to channel their emotions and experiences out into a creative, safe space. “It was just really nice to be around like-minded artists. From then on, it just became a wrap pretty much. From 2007 and now, I’ve been at ArtSpace.”

When Lennon is not adding to her expansive and diverse collection of paintings, she is exploring several other avenues of art.

“I don’t just paint…I do poetry, I do free verse. I write music…I do lyrics. I do photography, I sew. I crochet, I paint, draw. I do everything art. Primarily, I am focusing on painting, writing, and photography.” Lennon said, taking a sip of grape juice. She giggled, explaining that her art comes from a place of passion. Her inspiration for her art comes from a place of her raw creativity–her dreams.

“Most of the time, I dream up my art and it’s like an obsession,” she said. “I have to get it out of my head.” Lennon finds herself in different series; she shared that she painted The Purple People series and the Freedom series for some time before moving onto her current Reflective series. We shared a laugh as she noted that the Reflective series has caused her to do a lot of reflection on herself.

Towards the end of our time together, Lennon shared with me two of her favorite poems, “Dear Little Broken Mind” and “I Am,” the latter being a part of her Freedom Series. The intersections of her identity–race, gender, class, ability–all come together to form her poem, a deeply introspective poem. 

Lennon’s work has been in art shows, sold and many of her pieces hang on the walls of ArtSpace, allowing for any and all who come in, to see her signature work. Kimberley is constantly creating art, we are excited to see what work she’ll produce in the future!

Shelter For People Experiencing Homelessness In The Works For Trenton’s West Ward

The new owner of a property in Trenton’s West Ward could allow the premises be used by people experiencing homelessness once again.

A legal notice shows that a firm known as SLM Trenton, LLC filed a use variance application with the Trenton Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) that calls for turning the three-story building at 1212 Edgewood Avenue into a “Class I or II license homeless shelter.” Class I shelters can operate all day and night, according to the notice, whereas class II shelters may only be open at night.

Property records indicate that SLM Trenton, LLC is registered out of a building in the central business district of Mount Holly, Burlington County and that the firm paid $120,000 for 1212 Edgewood Avenue. It is not yet clear what company or organization is behind the LLC, nor is it known how many people would be able to reside at the shelter.

The 40,419 square foot property was once used as a shelter for women, according to the notice, but currently sits vacant. Located adjacent to the Delaware and Raritan Canal opposite Cadwalader Park, 1212 Edgewood Avenue was the site of the Florence Crittenton Christian Refuge Association beginning in 1897, according to the Trenton Historical Society. State records show that Edison Prep Residential Community Home later utilized the site.

The ZBA is scheduled to hear the application by SLM Trenton, LLC on Wednesday, December 18 at 7:00pm at City Hall on East State Street.

College Opens Innovative Food Pantry in Ewing Township

Editor’s Note: Last winter, The Streetlight reported that a food pantry was in the works for The College of New Jersey. In the time since, the facility has opened its doors.

By Hannah Keyes and Brie Wells

The SHOP @ TCNJ is not the typical shopping destination for most college students, but for many, it provides resources needed to get through the week.

Located at The College of New Jersey’s (TCNJ) Campus Town in Ewing Township, The SHOP is a food pantry that provides resources to those who may be experiencing food insecurity. The SHOP offers many different resources such as canned goods, hygiene products, some clothing items, microwavable meals, bottled water, feminine care products, fruits, grains, and vegetables. The SHOP also offers vegetarian and gluten free products for those who may have other dietary concerns.

It is open not only to college students, but also to faculty and general community members who may be in need. There are no questions asked.

Alana Adams, the College Enhancement Intern for The SHOP, mentioned that “food insecurity impacts nearly 40% of college students nationwide, so there should be no shame associated with utilizing the resources your campus or community provides.”

However, there is often a negative preconceived notion surrounding the use of a food pantry and seeking help.

“We don’t know what you’re going through, but we are here to support you in the best way that we can. We want to have an experience with you. We want to provide a welcoming, comforting, inclusive, and safe environment where you are seen as a person,” emphasized AmeriCorps member and TCNJ Garden and Food Security program assistant Horacio Hernandez.

TCNJ students in Mercer County are the catalysts that brought light to the situation that many members of the community face everyday. The inception of The SHOP began when concerned students asked for referrals or file requests to provide emergency aid to those struggling to eat constantly or to find adequate housing. This need became especially apparent during extended school breaks.

“TCNJ has a Student Emergency Fund, which students can apply and receive limited funding for temporary housing or food. With the help of other organizations, the Dean of Students Office launched the SHOP in February 2019, which serves as a more long-term solution to students in need, where they can receive food and other supplies on a weekly basis,” Adams added.

The building space that The SHOP occupies was offered by the chief of TCNJ’s Campus Police and allowed for everything to officially get started.

In order to support the surrounding communities, The SHOP works in conjunction with Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, TCNJ Student and Academic Affairs, and TCNJ Campus Police. According to the Program Associate of the Adult Hunger Programs at Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, Pamela Sims Jones, “The Food Bank is here to support The SHOP with non-perishable and perishable commodities as needed so that The SHOP can continue to support the TCNJ community members who may be food insecure.”

With the aid of Mercer Street Friends Food Bank and the rest of their partners, The SHOP hopes to be able to provide resources to those who do not have access to food and to help end the stigma surrounding asking for help. In the future The SHOP not only wants to provide basic necessities but to also give additional support for various aspects of life.

Donations and offered help are always accepted and valued by The SHOP. Recently there was a Greek Life food drive competition to see which Greek organization could donate the most food to The SHOP.

There are many additions that The SHOP hopes to add services as time goes on, such as extra training for staff members, more partnerships with other organizations, the ability to provide hot meals, and the list goes on. The SHOP has a lot in store for the future.

Keeping Up With Chidick: A Teen Who Once Experienced Homelessness Begins His College Experience

By Zion Lee

As college admissions dates began to approach in 2018, all eyes seemed to be glued to one very special teenager from Jersey City. Dylan Chidick, a young man full of determination and aspiration, had caught the media’s attention as he had applied to and received letters of acceptance from 17 colleges.

Not only was this a rare feat by itself, but Chidick also had been affected by homelessness during his time as a high school student. At the age of seven, Chidick’s family had immigrated from Trinidad to Brooklyn, before moving to Jersey City when a rise in prices drove them out. His family later was forced to move into a shelter, where his ability to study was bound by curfews and access to light. Yet, against all odds, Chidick showed the world that nothing would stop him from obtaining a higher level of education. Then, the moment Chidick and everyone else who had been following his story came when Chidick announced that he would be attending his dream school, The College of New Jersey.

Chidick’s experience and college application process has been a success story that news outlets covered and people indulged in. Yet, while the end of the news coverage on Chidick’s story seemed to formulate a happy ending for Chidick, his journey through life and in college had only just begun.

The Streetlight had the privilege of speaking with Chidick and inquired not only about his story, but also about what he must do now to get through this time of transition into college.

In an interview, Chidick spoke with great exuberance about the wonderful staff and friends he has interacted with and met at The College of New Jersey. However, he also revealed that he, admittedly, felt “a bit of imposter syndrome” when he sat in a class with other students. He felt as though he did not belong, because he felt that he was less prepared than the other students in his classes. Yet against odds, Chidick has been doing his best and keeping up with his classmates. In fact, Chidick had even ran for a position on the freshman class council for the student government and won a seat. While The College of New Jersey has been academically challenging for Chidick, it is clear that he has found a way to not only manage his work but also stay active in his community.

In the interview, Chidick gave words of wisdom for anyone facing homelessness who has dreams they want to accomplish. He stated that his experience “will always be a part of your life that you can never forget” however, “don’t let it define you.” Instead, Chidick advises that any students experiencing homelessness who hunger for education like he does to “take that situation” and “open your eyes” by becoming more informed and active in your community.

It is clear that while entering college has been a trying experience for Chidick, he has figured out how to stay on top of his work and excel in extracurriculars. While homelessness may have had a huge impact on his life, Chidick says that he will not let that define him as he continues to smile and spreads not only his excitement to everyone he meets but his hunger to learn and achieve his goals.

Code Blue and You: Staying Sheltered in the Frigid Months

This story is part of The Streetlight’s participation in a statewide climate reporting collaboration by members of the NJ College News Commons, a network of campus media outlets working together to cover the climate crisis in New Jersey.

By Gabrielle Wells

There are over 9,000 people experiencing some form of homelessness on a given day in the state of New Jersey, according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. Back in 2013, the “Trenton/Mercer 10-year Plan to End Homelessness” was formed in order to prevent even more people from experiencing homelessness and to improve the situation of those who are currently on the streets. This plan was originally created to make a system that would assess needs and help connect individuals experiencing homelessness to housing, among other resources. Now, a new law involving Code Blue will continue to allow many of these individuals to seek shelter during the winter.

In Mercer County, individuals who suffer from housing insecurity may find themselves on the street during severe weather conditions, which can be very hazardous to one’s health. Hypothermia occurs when one’s core body temperature falls below approximately 95°F. This drop-in core body temperature can be a direct result of staying out in temperatures around 30°F to 50°F for extended periods of time, especially in wet conditions.

For Trenton’s population experiencing homelessness, this means that suffering from life-threatening conditions such as hypothermia can pose a serious threat. Dr. Rita King, a professor of microbiology at The College of New Jersey in Ewing Township, explained that when a person is in the cold for a sustained period of time, blood vessels become smaller in order to keep the core of the body and vital organs warmer. This can result in fingers and toes becoming susceptible to frostbite, which can cause gangrene, potentially leading to an amputation of extremities.

“If you’re in sustained cold with constricted blood vessels, your blood pressure can raise which can cause heart attacks,” said King.

New Jersey State Senators Troy Singleton and M. Teresa Ruiz recently created legislation that was signed into law in March 2019, requiring all New Jersey counties to set up homelessness trust funds. These funds would be used to support Code Blue emergency shelter services in order to provide resources and suitable shelter from severe weather conditions.

Code Blue initially was established in May 2017 after legislation was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie in efforts to develop a program that would offer emergency shelter to the population experiencing homelessness in times of inclement weather. According to Mercer County’s Office of Homeless Services’ website, in cases of extreme weather where the temperature drops below 25°F without precipitation, or in the case where it is below 32°F with precipitation with a wind chill of zero degrees for a prolonged period of two hours or more, Code Blue alerts are issued.

However, King feels that Code Blue alerts should be issued during times of other temperatures as well. “I don’t know where they came up with 25°F,” said King, calling such an extreme temperature “flat out freezing.”

This new partisan legislation created by Senators Troy Singleton and M. Teresa Ruiz was passed by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. A spokesperson from Senator Ruiz office could not be reached for comment in time for publication.

Despite the new legislation, some patrons from the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen such as Reggie Montigue and Crystal Hickmond told The Streetlight that they do not have much trouble finding shelter in the winter. “I have already found my spot,” said Montigue.

Once Code Blue alerts are issued, individuals who suffer from housing insecurity in Mercer County can turn to their designated Code Blue shelter, the Rescue Mission of Trenton, which will be open 24 hours once the Code Blue alert is issued. Additionally, people in need of assistance throughout the state of New Jersey can call 211 for shelter information.

Anchor House Receives Approval for Brunswick Avenue Facility

By Jared Kofsky

A non-profit serving youth and young adults experiencing homelessness could soon be expanding its presence in Trenton’s North Ward.

Anchor House, Inc. received approval on July 17 from the Trenton Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) in connection with its proposal for the premises at 868 Brunswick Avenue. The organization sought a use variance in order to turn the house at the site into “office space on the first floor and residential use on the upper floors for up to four individuals,” according to a legal notice.

The facility would include four bedrooms, a common kitchen, and a living area, the notice stated. All of the residents of the house are expected to be between 18 and 21.

Anchor House already operates a shelter for youth and the Anchorage Transitional Living Program for young adults. The non-profit also facilitates the Anchor Link and Anchor Line spaces at the corner of South Broad and Beatty Streets in Chambersburg.

The ZBA’s decision was memorialized in September, according to the notice. for the proposed adaptive reuse of the building is not yet clear. No updates from Anchor House, Inc. regarding the project were available by publication time.

Shining a light on homelessness in and around Trenton, New Jersey.