Category Archives: Latest Alliance News

Great news from the Governor’s Transition Teams on Housing!

The Mercer Alliance is supportive of the priority recommendations contained in the report. Of particular note is the recommendation to adopt Housing First­ as State policy. A policy that the Mercer Alliance and its partners have been forerunners in successfully developing and implementing in our community; and had made a key component of recommendations of the New Jersey Interagency Council on Homelessness in 2014. Included in the Housing First recommendations were suggestions to redirect Emergency Assistance policies, eliminating “compliance review” determination of individuals “causing their own homelessness, and allowing lifetime benefits. Additionally, collaboration across systems and funding streams, and prevention are recommended as priorities.

These are certainly key victories for advocates and providers, and are essential to the establishment of effective and sustainable Housing First systems.

We are reminded, however, that the Transition Team’s reports are “purely advisory”. Nonetheless, they constitute a promising approach to addressing homelessness and housing needs under Governor Murphy’s administration.

View the full ​report

Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness approves Daniel R. Ryan to Board of Directors

Trenton, New Jersey —- The Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness unanimously approved the nomination of Daniel R. Ryan, to its Board of Directors at their meeting on November 14, 2017.  Mr. Ryan has a Masters of Arts in Theology from Duquesne University and a Master of Education in Adult Education/Human Resource Management from Iowa State University, and a BA in Philosophy/Psychology from Duquesne University. Mr. Ryan currently works as a Senior Vice-President, North Buffalo Advisors, LLC in Hamilton New Jersey.

“Mr. Ryan brings a unique perspective to providing youth related services and counseling. Additionally, he brings valuable private sector experience and insight in the areas of organizational planning and function, both of which are important to our collaborative systems building efforts to address homelessness in the Trenton/Mercer community”, said Frank A. Cirillo, Executive Director of the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness.

Founded in 2004, the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness is a public-private partnership of the county’s business, government and the non-profit sectors. Its mission is to develop and implement strategies and systems to end homelessness in Mercer County through permanent housing.  We can. We must. We will End Homelessness.

Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness approves Pastor Rupert A. Hall Jr. to Board of Directors

Trenton, New Jersey —- The Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness unanimously approved the nomination of Pastor Rupert A. Hall, Jr. to its Board of Directors at their meeting on November 14, 2017.  Pastor Hall has a Juris Doctorate degree from Rutgers School of Law and a BS degree in Economics-Finance and Accounting from University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia. Pastor Hall current serves the leader of the Turning United Methodist Church in Trenton New Jersey.

“Pastor Hall provides the Mercer Alliance Board with a spirit of community activism from his pastoral leadership at Turning Point United Methodist Church, and his valuable experience in the legal and business fields. He has demonstrated an avid interest in addressing issues of poverty and homelessness and a desire to work to lift the prospects of the most challenged citizens of our community”, said Frank A. Cirillo, Executive Director of the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness.

Founded in 2004, the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness is a public-private partnership of the county’s business, government and the non-profit sectors. Its mission is to develop and implement strategies and systems to end homelessness in Mercer County through permanent housing.  We can. We must. We will End Homelessness.

Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness Receives Community Foundation Grant

Trenton, New Jersey —- Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness received a $25,000.00 grant from the Princeton Area Community Foundation, the community foundation serving Mercer County and central New Jersey.   Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness, which was one of 15 organizations to receive a Community Impact Grant from the Community Foundation, will use the grant in support of ending chronic homelessness in Trenton and Mercer County.   Grants totaling more than $590,000.00 were awarded to local nonprofits for program and operating support.

“The Mercer Alliance is honored to have been awarded a generous $25,000 grant from the Princeton Area Community Foundation. This will allow us to continue to build upon our ground-breaking work to end homelessness in the Trenton/Mercer Community”, said Frank Cirillo, Executive Director of the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness.

“This year the Alliance will use the funding to focus on unstably housed and homeless youth between the ages of 18-25, particularly those known to the child welfare and juvenile justice system. In addition, we will work to expand housing resources for seniors 55 years and older,” said Cirillo.

Founded in 2004, the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness is a public-private partnership of the county’s business, government and the nonprofit sectors. Its mission is to develop and implement strategies and systems to end homelessness in Mercer County through permanent housing. 

Utilizing Housing First policy, the Mercer Alliance has developed systems that have become State and national models for ending homelessness for families, singles, and veterans; particularly those experiencing chronic homelessness. As a result of these initiatives singles homelessness in the Trenton/Mercer area has been reduced by 63% compared to the State average of 43% and the national average of 31%, and ended veterans’ homelessness in 2015. Family homelessness has been reduced by 74% compared to the state average of 58% and the national average of 18%.

 As impressive as these accomplishments are, there is still a great deal of work to do to prevent and end homelessness, and to ensure that individuals and families experiencing homelessness are rapidly rehoused and can access the necessary resources and services to succeed. Building effective systems that identify and maximize community resources, promote collaborative efforts, and creative solutions are essential to meeting these challenges.

The Mercer Alliance is extremely grateful to the Princeton Area Community Foundation for continuing to recognize the unique and impactful role the Mercer Alliance plays in combating and ending homelessness, and the value of supporting its collaborative system building initiatives through the generosity of their grant funding.

The Princeton Area Community Foundation promotes philanthropy to advance the well-being of our communities forever. The Community Foundation provides charitable giving expertise to individuals, nonprofits and corporations, and each year invests millions of dollars into the community through grants and scholarships. For more information on the Community Foundation please contact them at 609-219-1800 or online at www.pacf.org

Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness Receives Social Outreach Grant

Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness received a $1,500 Social Outreach grant from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton for the purchase of Out of State birth Certificates for individuals in Trenton/Mercer County with a history of homelessness.

Frank A. Cirillo, executive director of the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness, said the funds would be used to support programming to ending homelessness in the Trenton/Mercer community. “The Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness is honored and excited to have been awarded a $1,500 grant from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton to help fund this much needed service.

The Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness developed the concept of an ID project as part of its planning for the Coordinated Entry and Assessment System (CEASe). This was done with its system partners; the County of Mercer Department of Human Services, the City of Trenton, Department of Health and Human Services and the Mercer County Board of Social Services. The CEASe system was developed to provide a systemic approach to serving the needs of the single homeless population in the Trenton/Mercer community. The goal of the system is to move individuals to housing as quickly as possible; thus ending their homelessness.

The ID project is based on the knowledge that many individuals have lost their identification while they have been homeless. These include birth certificates and social security cards. These documents are essential for any housing search whether the individual pursues housing on their own or is assisted by case managers. All applications for housing vouchers, whether Federal or State, require ID. All subsidized housing, Senior Housing and Housing Authority applications require ID.

The Mercer Alliance developed the process for obtaining local, State and Out of State ID’s. The Alliance used consultants (formerly homeless individuals) to implement this process.

Founded in 2004, the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness is a public-private partnership of the county’s business, government and the non-profit sectors. Its mission is to develop and implement strategies and systems to end homelessness in Mercer County through permanent housing. 

Utilizing Housing First policy, the Mercer Alliance has developed systems that have become State and national models for ending homelessness for families, singles, and veterans; particularly those experiencing chronic homelessness. As a result of these initiatives singles homelessness in the Trenton/Mercer area has been reduced by 62% compared to the State average of 43% and the national average of 31%, and ended veterans’ homelessness in 2015. Family homelessness has been reduced by 79% compared to the state average of 58% and the national average of 18%.

As impressive as these accomplishments are, there is still a great deal of work to do to prevent homelessness, and to ensure that individuals and families experiencing homelessness are rapidly rehoused and can access the necessary resources and services to succeed.  Our census data indicates there were still 201 homeless families and 1443 homeless individuals in the Trenton/Mercer area in 2016.

The Mercer Alliance is extremely grateful that the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton has recognized the value of supporting its ID initiative through the generosity of their grant funding.

Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness Receives Community Foundation Grant

Trenton, New Jersey – Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness received a $21,125 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President’s Grant Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation, in support of working to end homelessness in Greater Trenton though its Housing First and Rapid Rehousing programs. Funds will be used to provide safety net services and to develop strategies to stabilize the availability of shelter and permanent housing.

Frank A. Cirillo, executive director of the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness, said the funds would be used to support initiatives to prevent and end homelessness in the Trenton/Mercer community, and advance state-wide strategies to stabilize short-term shelter, and fund permanent housing solutions to end homelessness. “The Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness is honored and excited to have been awarded a generous $21,125 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President’s Grant Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation to support its efforts to stabilize short term shelter in Mercer County, and advocate for state-wide solutions to fund a safety net for individuals and families who become homeless. This includes the development and funding of rapid permanent housing policies for the homeless,” said Cirillo. “Shelters should be safe-havens with no barriers to access, and should be used as a short-term safety net within a system whose goal is permanent housing,” said Cirillo. “Housing First and Rapid Rehousing policies should be adopted as State policy. The goal of moving families and individuals as quickly as possible into housing is the Federal direction. It is both humane and cost effective. We need to explore all possible funding options to make these policies a reality, particularly in the challenging years ahead.”

Founded in 2004, the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness is a public-private partnership of the county’s business, government and the non-profit sectors. Its mission is to develop and implement strategies and systems to end homelessness in Mercer County through permanent housing.

Utilizing Housing First policy, the Mercer Alliance has developed systems that have become state and national models for ending homelessness for families, singles, and veterans; particularly those experiencing chronic homelessness. As a result of these initiatives Point in Time statics indicate singles homelessness in the Trenton/Mercer area has been reduced by 62% compared to the State average of 43% and the national average of 31%, and ended veterans’ homelessness in 2015. Family homelessness has been reduced by 79% compared to the state average of 58% and the national average of 18%.

As impressive as these accomplishments are, there is still a great deal of work to do to prevent homelessness, and to ensure that individuals and families experiencing homelessness are rapidly rehoused and can access the necessary resources and services to succeed. Our census data indicates there were still 201 homeless families and 1443 homeless individuals in the Trenton/Mercer area in 2016.

The Mercer Alliance is extremely grateful that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President’s Grant Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation has recognized the value of supporting its initiatives through the generosity of their grant funding.

The Princeton Area Community Foundation promotes philanthropy to advance the well-being of our communities forever. The Community Foundation provides charitable giving expertise to individuals, nonprofits and corporations, and each year invests millions of dollars into the community through grants and scholarships. For more information on the Community Foundation please contact them at 609-219-1800 or online at www.pacf.org.

#NJCounts 2017 Reaches Out to Homeless Families, Individuals, Youth and Veterans

NJCounts 2017

On January 25th, 2017  homeless service providers and volunteers conducted a count of homeless individuals and families in Mercer County as part of the #NJCounts 2017. This count provides a snapshot of the scope of homelessness in our community and across the nation and is vital to assessing need and leveraging resources to prevent and end homelessness.   Click here​ to read the full article. 

In Case You Missed It…

This week at CBPP, we focused on health care, the federal budget and taxes, state budgets and taxes, and food assistance.

  • On health care, Matt Broaddus and Edwin Park highlighted the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s historic coverage gains.  Our state-by-state interactive illustrated how ACA repeal would undermine these gains and leave many more uninsured.  Sarah Lueck explained that the Republican approach to repeal means millions will lose pre-existing condition protections.  Anna Bailey noted that despite the newly signed Cures Act, Medicaid remains the major source of funding for states to treat mental illness and substance use disorders.  Shelby Gonzales reminded consumers to enroll in marketplace plans for coverage that starts on January 1.
  • On the federal budget and taxes, Richard Kogan and David Reich found that House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price’s proposals to change the budget process would harm key programs aimed at moderate- and low-income families and favor tax breaks for the wealthy.  Chye-Ching Huang and Paul Van de Water used new Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center data to show that millionaires would receive most of the tax cuts from repealing the ACA.  Chloe Cho’s state-by-state look at repealing the estate tax demonstrated that only the wealthiest few Americans would benefit.  We excerpted Jared Bernstein’s Washington Post op-ed listing why policymakers shouldn’t cut taxes.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Elizabeth McNichol analyzed how states can use tax policy to stop increasing inequality and start reducing it, and our state-by-state fact sheets reveal the striking concentration of incomes among the wealthiest residents in every state. 
  • On food assistance, Dottie Rosenbaum and Ed Bolen explained why reports claiming the alleged success of reimposing a three-month time limit on SNAP in Kansas and Maine are misleading.

Chart of the week: Large Coverage Gains Under Affordable Care Act

A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts recently. Here are some highlights:

Why Trump Should Strengthen the Housing Voucher Program
Huffington Post
December 16, 2016

The stealth attack on the social safety net will come through boring budget processes
Daily Kos
December 14, 2016

Why even the strongest Republican efforts can’t defeat the welfare state
Washington Post
December 12, 2016

Surprise! Obamacare Repeal Includes a Stealth Tax Cut For Top Earners
Talking Points Memo
December 9, 2016

What Would It Take to Replace the Pay Working-Class Americans Have Lost?
New York Times
December 9, 2016

The above information was provided by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in an email.

How State Policymakers Can Decrease Income Inequality

Over the last 35 years, income gains in the American economy have accrued largely to the richest households, while many middle- and lower-income Americans haven’t shared in the nation’s growing prosperity.

In a new paper from CBPP, we explain how this income disparity has reduced opportunities for working people striving to get ahead and weakened our overall economy. Choices by state policymakers can make can make matters worse or improve them.

As Elizabeth McNichol writes:

“Virtually all states collect more taxes from moderate- and lower-income families, as a share of their income, than high-income families. This increases inequality by reducing after-tax incomes more deeply among low- and middle-income families than high-income families.”

State policymakers have numerous tools to ensure that high-income earners pay their fair share and lower-income earners don’t face increased tax responsibility. These include expanding taxes on inherited wealth, strengthening taxes on corporations, and enacting state earned income tax credits.  They should take these steps to make sure everyone benefits from economic prosperity.

Read the Report

Download the PDF (23pp)

The above information was provided by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in an email.

Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service

Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service
Wednesday, December 21, 201 6
Turning Point United Methodist church, l5 South Broad Street, Trenton. NJ
10:00 -1 I :00 am – Service
Clifford A. Goldman
Board Chairman

December 5,2016 Trenton, NJ – on Wednesday, December 21,2016,at 10 am, at Turning point United Methodist Church, the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness and Turning Point United Methodist Church will host a Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service. This event is held in conjunction with the National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day traditionally held on December 2lst, the day with the least amount of daylight and the longest period of darkness.

All Mercer Counly homeless people who died in the last year as a result of their lack of shelter or care will be remembered at this time’ People are invited to take time out and reflect on the tragic loss of these individuals. Local clergy will participate. The service will include readings, prayers, and names of individuals who experienced homelessness and died this past year.

The Mercer Alliance, working with local homeless providers and homeless individuals gathered information on individuals who died while living on the street or in emergency shelter, as well as ildividuals who died while living in transitional or permanent housing for the formerly homeless, People are welcome to bring names of friends or family members who experienced homelessness that have died in the past year to be remembered.

Advocates and individuals experiencing homelessness are expected to attend this service, which .will reflect on theie lives of those who died while homeless and will highlight the Mercer Alliance’s and the community’s continuing commitment towards ending homelessne ss. ” During this Holiday Season we ask ever.yone to ramentber thut individuals and.families are experiencing homelessness in America and Mercer C’ounty andwe
need to continue to.lbcus on ending homelessne,s’s”, said Frank Cirillo, Executive Director of Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness.

For additional information contact Frank Cirillo of the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness at (609-599-9762 or Frank Cirillo c/o