Can NJ cuts to poverty programs be avoided?

    Anti-poverty advocates hope they can change the Governor’s mind.

    Programs that help low income residents in New Jersey are not immune to Governor Christie’s budget cuts. Advocates are hoping some of the reductions can be avoided.

    The Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey says 27 programs that help the state’s most vulnerable residents would be cut by $407 million.
    Among those cutbacks is the proposed elimination of cash assistance for those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits.

    Trenton resident Richard Leigh has been a recipient of general assistance and is concerned there may be more problems without that $140 a month payment.

    “There’s not many jobs out there at all,” says Leigh. “They’re very hard to come by. I feel it’s going to create more mental stress on people, more depression. People are going to need money some way so if that’s going to make them go look for money illegally or not they’re going to do it.”

    Advocates for the poor say they’re hopeful ways can be found to avoid the cutbacks that could end up causing more people to become homeless and end up in shelters, adding to state costs.

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