One Door Closes…
Changes Come to Trenton’s Safe Return Program
Since 2015, VOADV has operated the Safe Return program, providing rapid and immediate voluntary reentry services to residents across southern New Jersey and in Trenton specifically. Through this program, VOADV provides an array of essential services to those exiting the criminal justice system – diverting individuals away from costly crisis-oriented systems, including emergency rooms and jails, and, instead, to expert social service providers who can more appropriately address their needs and ensure success.
Over the past few months, VOADV has been challenged to find new, creative ways to reduce costs in order to preserve the Safe Return program and its staff, while continuing to provide essential services to those in need without disruption. However, due to a lack of funding in New Jersey’s current three-month, stop-gap budget and with no guarantee of funding in the future, VOADV has been forced to make significant cuts and changes that will directly impact the Safe Return program.
It is with a heavy heart that we must inform you that effective August 18, 2020 VOADV was forced to close our Trenton Office, located at 226 W. State Street.
Additionally, we have also been forced to eliminate, discontinue, or reduce the following Safe Return services currently offered in Trenton:
- Elimination of daily outreach at the Trenton Transit Center
- Elimination of rapid response crisis assistance to community partners, jails, and service providers in Trenton
- Elimination of all case management services
- Elimination of in-house cognitive behavior interventions to clients
- Discontinuation of job training and job readiness services
- Reduction of transitional housing from eight to four beds for reentry clients in Trenton
- Discontinuation of the restoration of IDs and licenses
- Termination of family reunification services
- Discontinuation of food delivery services to clients
VOADV’s leadership and staff are gravely concerned for our current clients and individuals that have yet to exit the criminal justice system that would have otherwise have been served by the Safe Return program. As an organization, VOADV hopes this office closure and the changes outlined above are only temporary. If funding is restored in New Jersey’s fiscal year 2021 budget, VOADV will work to restore some of these essential services to the Trenton community as quickly as possible.
We thank the Trenton community for their continued support over the years – thank you for believing in our work, welcoming us into the community and making our staff and clients feel truly at “home.”