Volunteers of America Delaware Valley and Pine Hill Police Department Unveil New Collaborative Social Services and Community Policing Partnership
First Program of its Kind in the Region, Offering Homelessness,
Reentry, Mental and Substance Abuse and
Case Management Services to At-Risk Populations
Pine Hill, N.J. – On Wednesday, November 18, Volunteers of America Delaware Valley (VOADV) joined Pine Hill Police Chief Christopher J. Winters and members of the Pine Hill Police Department in hosting a joint press conference to unveil a new partnership to provide combined social services and community policing to the Pine Hill community. This collaborative program is the first of its kind in the region and will offer homelessness, reentry, mental and substance abuse and case management services to at-risk populations in the community.
“Today, I am proud to stand here alongside Chief Winters and members of the Pine Hill Police Department to announce a new collaborative partnership between our two organizations,” said Daniel L. Lombardo, President and CEO, VOADV. “As an organization, we continue to develop new, innovative ways to engage those in need within the community. This exciting, new partnership is just another way we are furthering our mission and reaffirming our commitment to serving at-risk populations in our local communities throughout the region.”
“For years, the Pine Hill Police Department has advocated for proactive efforts that embrace the key components of community policing at its core,” said Chief Christopher J. Winters, Pine Hill Police Department. “Our new partnership with VOADV further enhances our work in the community – allowing us to help those distinct social service needs, while improving public health and safety both here in Pine Hill and throughout the greater Camden County region as a whole.”
Under this new partnership, the Pine Hill Police Department and VOADV will work cooperatively to provide direct, essential services to the community’s most vulnerable and underserved populations.
“The Murphy Administration is committed to ensuring that there is no wrong door when New Jerseyans need help,” said New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson. “Today's announcement of the partnership between the Volunteers of America Delaware Valley and the Pine Hill Police Department and is a terrific example of what no wrong door means – community leaders coming together to offer help whenever they encounter those in need. As the state agency that directs Medicaid, mental health and addiction services, food assistance, childcare and much more, we are delighted to see these services brought together under one initiative to help Pine Hill residents who need this critical support.”
The partnership includes the establishment of a new social services satellite office right in the Pine Hill Police Department, called the Camden Navigational Resource Center. The office will focus on the delivery of direct, immediate services by streamlining needs and providing navigational guidance to at-risk individuals. Additionally, newly implemented expanded hours at the office will also allow for better service to community.
“This initiative is a model for communities throughout the nation,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. “Providing these essential services at the point of contact with police officers and giving police the ability to make a warm hand off is the key to addressing the root causes of issues that arise in the community. For decades, we’ve been consistently asking law enforcement to be a global response mechanism for all of society’s challenges, but now the Pine Hill Police Department has the proper tools at their disposal, and are equipped, to address the complex, social service needs of individuals in the borough. In short, I applaud the thoughtfulness of Chief Winters and VOA, and look forward to seeing what this program will yield over the course of the next year.”
Additional expanded services under the new partnership include:
• VOADV assistance to officers when on-site at a call and the ability to conduct direct social service outreach on a regular basis with Pine Hill officers in the community.
• Creation of the Immediate, Mobilization, Police Assisted Crisis Team (IMPACT) to assist in the delivery of social services to individuals in need.
• Arrests made by Pine Hill officers will receive an initial point of contact screening for medical and social service needs, with an immediate referral to VOADV.
• Work cooperatively with nine religious organizations located in the Borough of Pine Hill for the delivery of culturally sensitive social services.
• Expanded partnership with the Pine Hill school district to assist homeless families and youth.
• Work cooperatively with the judge/prosecutor/public defender at municipal court sessions to offer immediate, direct services, as needed.
• Ability to expand service outreach and partnerships to surrounding communities for services.
• Arrests resulting in incarceration are met with by VOADV staff in the jail.
• VOADV and Pine Hill Police Department jointly staff community events to offer services.
“By providing rapid and immediate services, individuals are diverted away from costly crisis-oriented systems and directly to VOADV as their social service provider, where we can more appropriately address the individual’s personalized needs,” explained Amanda Leese, Vice President of Navigator and Safe Return, VOADV. “From medical and mental health to substance abuse, our program will address a variety of services while simultaneously recognizing the unique challenges faced by certain populations in the community, such as veterans, immigrants and those returning from the criminal justice system.”
VOADV is a local affiliate of the national, non-profit organization Volunteers of America and was founded more than 100 years ago with a mission to serve. Each year, VOADV serves more than 13,000 individuals throughout the southern New Jersey and Philadelphia region and operates more than 40 high quality, outcome-driven assistance programs – from homelessness, reentry, veterans assistance and affordable housing services to specialized programs for individuals with addiction, traumatic brain injury and/or intellectual disabilities.
For more information about VOADV, visit www.voadv.org. For additional information about the Pine Hill Police Department, visit http://www.pinehillpd.com/.
About Volunteers of America Delaware Valley (VOADV):
VOADV is a local affiliate of national, non-profit organization, Volunteers of America, and provides essential services to our community’s most vulnerable individuals. Each year, VOADV serves more than 13,000 individuals throughout the southern New Jersey and Philadelphia region and operates more than 40 high quality, outcome-driven assistance programs – from homelessness, reentry, veterans assistance and affordable housing services to specialized programs for individuals with addiction, traumatic brain injury and/or intellectual disabilities. To learn more, visit: www.voadv.org.