Tracers: Helping the Homeless Veterans and Veteran in danger of becoming homeless
They served our country and now let us help them.
County of Bergen/Department of Human Services
Division of Veterans Services
One Bergen County Plaza, 2nd Floor
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Phone: (201) 336-6325
Fax: (201) 336-6327
“Tracers” wants to end homelessness for veterans in Bergen County. Working together we can do it!
Assisting homeless veterans is a top priority for the Bergen County Division of Veterans Services and its Advisory Board. In 1993, the division addressed this priority by launching ‘Tracers’, an all-volunteer group consisting of resident veterans.
The primary mission is to assist homeless veterans and link them to community based and VA sponsored programs and benefits. “Tracers” hopes to find veterans shelters, jobs which provide adequate income, as well as other needed services in Bergen County.
“Traces” works with local veteran groups and other nonprofit organizations, public, officials, business leaders, homeless and formerly homeless veterans.
Our program’s names, “Tracers”, was derived from the glow in the dark bullets recognized by U.S. Military personnel. The veterans who volunteer for “Tracers” are guiding lights who offer nontraditional outreach efforts to homeless veterans.
The goal of “Tracers” is to help every homeless veteran in Bergen County reach self-sufficiency. In addition, “Tracers” has established a transitional home in the City of Garfield with support services for eight homeless veterans. The home opened in 2003.
While the exact number of homeless veterans in Bergen County is unknown, the number is estimated at nearly one hundred. Some veterans in Bergen County are without a residence but they are not really homeless-the United States is their home.
In 1994, “Tracers” was recognized by Rutgers University for its innovation and received the coveted New Jersey State and Local Award. In April 1996, the Volunteer Center of Bergen County Inc. honored “Tracers” as a finalist in the Adult Volunteer category.
*Donations to the “Tracers” program are used to supply bus tickets to jobs, assist in preparing the veteran for employment and to fill in gaps in the service delivery system. Since our inception, more than $135,000 in bus tickets and tens of thousands of dollars in clothing were given to homeless vets.
*$10.00 gift certificates for McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, Burger King, Subway and Pizza Hut.
*$25.00-$50.00 gift certificates redeemable in stores such as Shop Rite, Sears, Target, Walmart and CVS Pharmacy.
*New items such as: carrying bags, sweatshirts (Large and XL), jackets, underwear and socks may be dropped off weekdays between the hours of 9:00am and 4:00pm.
“Tracers” assures that every penny donated is spent on items and services which help improve the lives of former members of the United States Military and their families who are now homeless.
*Parking is available. Pickup can be arranged for individual cartons arranged for individual cartons weighing less than 25 pounds (if volunteers are available).
Giving a hand to homeless vets not a handout.
Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the “Tracers” pamphlet from the County of Bergen Department of Human Services and Division of Veterans Services, and I give them full credit for the information. Please call or check the website for more information.