Mercer Alliance Receives the 2012 Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Community Impact Award
From Mercer Business, April 2012:
The number of homeless people in Mercer County has been going down in the last few years, noted Herb Levine, Executive Director of the Mercer Alliance to end Homelessness. However, there are still hundreds of more people who remain homeless, and for Levine and his group that’s hundreds too many, so the work continues. For all the good work that they have so far to eradicate homelessness in mercer County, the organization is the 2011 winner of the MRCC Community Impact Awards.
Levine said that most of the downturn in homelessness can be attributed to the group’s efforts to put more permanent housing into the community. In tandem with doing that, they have continued to emphasize support services. “We think that the solution to homelessness is to increase the supply of affordable permanent housing and to get people the support services they need to transition out of homelessness and recover from that trauma.”
Even though the numbers of Mercer County homeless have dropped, the Alliance’s ultimate goal is to end homelessness – something that Levine is hoping the MRCC award will help them to achieve. “The Chamber award will let more people know that they become part of this – that they can find their niche to help us do this [end homelessness].”
Despite their success, the group’s job remains daunting. Homelessness can strike with horrifying swiftness; a health crisis, job loss, divorce – anything that deprives someone of the income necessary to maintain a home can suddenly and without warning plunge them from a comfortable existence into the maelstrom of homelessness. It’s not just people who have chronic mental or physical problems that are affected by homelessness. Levine and the Alliance must be ever vigilant to help whoever need their assistance. “We need to have compassion for everyone who is suffering,” he said.
Mercer Alliance’s Executive Director Herb Levine being presented the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Community Impact Award by former Mercer Alliance Board Member Tom Sullivan, CEO of Princeton Partners, Inc.
Board members Dennis Micai, Executive Director, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK); Christine Stephenson, Executive Vice President , Catholic Health East- New Jersey, St. Francis Medical Center; Marygrace Billek, Director of Human Services, Mercer County; Richard Carroll, Principal, McAuliffe + Carroll Architects; Herb Levine, Executive Director Mercer Alliance; Jackie Edwards, Service Area Director, Emergency and Community Services, Catholic Charities; Frank A. Cirillo, Director of Welfare, Mercer County Board of Social Services; Connie Mercer, Executive Director, HomeFront
Click to View the Mercer Alliance’s History Video
The Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce
2012 Annual Dinner
Wednesday, April 18th
Hyatt Regency Princeton
Mercer Alliance thanks Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce for the Community Impact Award.