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City of Newark Police Division
Tuesday January 21st, 2020 :: 11:23 p.m. EST


Hope One Newark Outreach Operation Assists 29 Homeless Men and Women Including Some at Makeshift Encampments

Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose reports that Hope One Newark, a Police mobile unit offering individuals free, on-the-spot transportation to drug treatment facilities, mental health screenings, distribution of Narcan kits and HIV testing, assisted 29 individuals, including some living at makeshift homeless encampments, during an outreach operation that began last week and continued through yesterday.

“With below freezing temperatures setting in, I am pleased that Hope One Newark is making a significant impact in meeting the needs of those who are addicted, suffering from mental illness or those challenged by homelessness,” Ambrose said. “Deploying our Hope One Newark mobile unit to locations where these individuals are results in a win-win, both for those who need help and for facilitating safe traffic flow in areas where the homeless and those dealing with drug addiction are congregating and panhandling.”

Yesterday, as part of the homeless outreach operation, the mobile unit responded to the Route 280 and Route 21 Interchange, to 520 Broad Street and to 600 Broad Street following reports of several panhandlers in these areas. Hope One Newark, manned by members of the Newark Police Division’s Clergy/Community Affairs Unit, assisted five individuals, with two receiving referrals to drug rehabilitation centers and one person accepting placement. The team also conducted a mental health screening and made a treatment referral.

Last week, Hope One Newark also responded to the Route 280 and Route 21 Interchange and to the Raymond Boulevard River Front on reports of several people panhandling in the area, with some setting up encampments at these locations. During this segment of the operation, the unit assisted in three drug rehabilitation placements and made 26 drug rehabilitation referrals. It also conducted 11 voluntary mental health screenings, made four treatment referrals and conducted three HIV tests.

During the operation, which assisted a total of 29 individuals, the unit worked alongside the Police Division’s Traffic Unit and community partners, including: Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris Counties, the Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness, Integrity House, Hyacinth Aids Foundation, Covenant House, Bridges Project Connect and the Veterans Administration. The homeless living in the makeshift encampments were offered assistance, including housing or shelter programs, and were offered other services as needed. Hope One Newark members also ensured that the affected areas were thoroughly cleaned up following the outreach operation.

Each week Hope One Newark’s Mobile Unit travels to different locations throughout the city. So far this year, 78 individuals have voluntarily visited the mobile unit, with Hope One Newark members making 19 drug rehabilitation referrals and assisting in four placements. Since January 1, the unit has conducted 21 mental health screenings and made seven referrals, with 28 individuals receiving other services, including housing or shelter referrals.

Hope One Newark also provides training in Narcan use before equipping its visitors with Narcan kits. Last year, over 140 people were trained in how to use Narcan.

Newark Police Officers also deploy Narcan in an effort to save the lives of individuals experiencing opioid overdoses. Police reported 95 Narcan deployments since 2017 with 91 lives saved, a 95.8 percent success rate. In cases where the victim succumbed to the accidental overdose, the individual was fully unresponsive upon police arrival.

“When it comes to issues like addiction, homelessness and mental illness, we can’t arrest our way out of these problems,” Ambrose added. “Through this outreach operation and by visiting different communities each week, Hope One Newark puts these services within reach of those who need them most.”

City of Newark Police Division
480 Clinton Ave
Newark, NJ 07108

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 973-733-6000

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