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Formerly homeless, disabled veterans and their families get new start in Morris County

MOUNTAIN LAKES BOROUGH, NJ (Morris County) – In a powerful display of community support, a unique public-private partnership welcomed four formerly homeless and disabled veterans and their children to fully furnished apartments in Mountain Lakes Borough. After years of instability, these brave men and women who served the nation finally have a place to call home.

The special occasion was marked by a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday which was attended by elected officials, government representatives, project sponsors, community leaders and nonprofit partners. The veterans and their families were overjoyed to receive the keys to their new residences at 367 Bloomfield Avenue.

“For too long, many of our nation’s heroes have faced the harsh reality of homelessness after serving our country,” said A.J. Luna, U.S. Army Veteran and Co-Founder of NJ SOS Veteran Stakeholders. “This incredible community partnership is doing something about it. Today, we opened the doors to not just four new apartments, but four new lives filled with dignity, security and hope for these veterans and their families. It’s a true testament to the gratitude we have for their service and sacrifice.”

The collaborative effort involved partners like the NJ Department of Community Affairs, Nouvelle LLC, Catholic Charities, NJ Elks, Homes for Veterans, B4VOIN, and Welcome Home Vets, among others. Their collective work transformed four units into comfortable homes outfitted with furnishings and household essentials.

Elected leaders like U.S. Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, State Senator Anthony Bucco, Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, and Mountain Lakes Mayor Khizar Sheikh applauded the initiative as an embodiment of honoring veterans’ sacrifices.

Morris County Commissioner and U.S. Marine Corps Veteran John Krickus joined local officials and expressed gratitude for the community’s efforts, emphasizing the county’s ongoing support for veterans, which includes additional funding in the 2024 budget for veteran services.

The  event gave veterans and their families the opportunity to share their experiences of adversity and express their great thanks for the opportunity to begin again. A day filled with emotion, it was a day that captured the resiliency of those who served and the compassion of the community coming together to support them.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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