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Housing & Homelessness

MHAEM Serving Homeless Population at Newark International Airport

Date: September 2, 2020Author: MHA

Area Mental Health Agency Serving Homeless Population

In August, the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris, Inc. (MHAEM), a Montclair and Parsippany based not-for-profit behavioral health agency, began providing outreach and case management services to homeless individuals who frequently seek out temporary shelter at Newark Liberty International Airport. The initiative is funded through a partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and is intended to last for a minimum of three years.

Robert N. Davison, MHAEM’s Chief Executive Officer, explains that, “our goal with the airport initiative is to provide meaningful support and services that will ultimately lead to permanent change and stability for individuals who struggle with homelessness, including mental illness.

“As a community care provider, we greatly appreciate the leadership of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANY/NJ) for initiating this partnership and laud their vision and understanding that critically needed services are what will make a long-term difference in the lives of people who are struggling,” Davison said.

Services provided through the initiative include mental health treatment, documentation provision, access to housing opportunities, addiction treatment where needed and other ancillary assistance. There is a staff of seven social workers involved in the project.

Port Authority police have reported that the officers are, “extremely happy with MHA” during the launch phase of the initiative. They praised the staff for their enthusiasm, services, and motivation to assist consumers who, unfortunately, often call the airport home.

One representative stated that the PANY/NJ was encouraged to see the staff actively engaging individuals, motivating them to work with MHA and talking about long-term services and not just focusing on immediate removal.

The Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris has been providing services to individuals suffering from severe and persistent mental illness as well as a whole range of other behavioral health challenges since it was established in 1950. The agency has offices in Montclair, Parsippany, East Orange, Newton, Passaic and West Orange.

To learn more about the Mental Health Association of Essex and/or Morris Counties and the programs and services they provide, residents can call (973) 509-9777 in Essex County or (973) 334-3496 in Morris County for free, confidential information and referral services.