Creating a System to End Homelessness
Middlesex County, NJ

Our first SHI Client Moves In!

June 12, 2019

So rewarding.  The hard work of the social service navigators, Ciara and Court, in our Social and Healthcare Integration Program is yielding results. Court was able to take pics of the move-in day today of Michael, who has been homeless on the streets and in shelter for about 1.5 years.  Congratulations to all and the best of luck to Michael!

Successful Spring Fundraiser

May 06, 2019

Thanks to all of our supporters! We had a successful fundraiser at the Glenwood Country Club in Old Bridge, NJ.  The weather cooperated; the course was sufficiently challenging; the golfers convivial and generous and the food deliciously prepared. Together we can do so much!

Social and Healthcare services Integration

January 01, 2019

Coming Home fully launched the SHI program in January.  SHI stands for Social & Healthcare Services Integration and is a 2 year pilot project in collaboration with the State Department of Community Affairs, Barnabas/RWJUH, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Coming Home and WellCare Health Plans of NJ. We will be addressing the health related social needs of persons who currently frequent the emergency rooms of the hospitals, often inappropriately for lack of somewhere else to go. The State organized a press conference in mid-December to celebrate the launch.  We hope that this collaboration will be a harbinger of even greater coordination of health and social services in our communities.

A Hole Lot of Fun

September 06, 2018

We held a successful fundraiser last week, hosted by Woodbridge at their Skyline Golf behind the Woodbridge Community Center.  For our first fundraiser in 2015, we had monsoon like rains and last Thursday was the hottest day on earth since the beginning of mankind, or so it seemed.  So thank you very much to all our stalwart supporters who came out to sweat, swing and sing with us.  We are very appreciative.


Jeffersonian Dinner- A dinner party with a twist

April 18, 2018

We held our first Jeffersonian Dinner at Baker’s Barn with 14 guests of varying backgrounds to discuss one issue: homelessness in Middlesex County. The dinner discussion was facilitated by Board member Jamie Schleck (as TJ) and was launched by each guest relating a challenge in their own or family’s life and how they overcame it.  The willingness of our guests to be vulnerable and share compelling stories was truly inspiring and seemed to forge a bond which facilitated the ensuing discussion.  We will hold another dinner very soon and invite these guests back to pick up where they left off to fully explore the ideas touched upon at the first dinner. Many, many thanks to all.

Zebra Way Ribbon Cutting

March 13, 2018

We had the ribbon cutting for Zebra Way –  12 apartments (ten 1 bedroom and two 2 bedrooms) of permanent supportive housing for individuals and families who have experienced homelessness.  We are so very happy to welcome our new tenants and wish them every success going forward.  Move in date is May 1st.

Coming Home Receives Humanitarian Award

May 10, 2017

Coming Home was honored on May 10, 2017 by Council #257 of the Knights of Columbus and we are very grateful. Bridget Kennedy of the County’s Division of Housing, Community Development and Social Work Services, and a Coming Home Board Member, presented the Francis J. Crupi Humanitarian Award to Coming Home for its services to the community, in a very nice ceremony for Community Awards Night in the atrium of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The Award was accompanied by a Certificate of Special Recognition from US Representative Frank Pallone; a Commendation from the Middlesex County Freeholders and a congratulatory Proclamation from the Mayor of New Brunswick, James Cahill. 


March 08, 2017


Construction has begun!  We’re a little closer to providing housing to 12+ people who are homeless.  Help us build more homes. Join us for a fun and fund raiser on June 15th at Top Golf in Edison. Have a great time and help end homelessness at the same time.

Zebra Way Closing!

February 16, 2017

We closed on  our Zebra Way Supportive Housing project today!  Zebra Way will be a two-story apartment complex in New Brunswick providing 12 housing units and supportive services to persons experiencing homelessness. Our partners are BCUW/Madeline Housing Partners, LLC, an experienced housing developer and Triple C Housing, for the provision of the supportive services. Ground-breaking soon!

Coming Home invited to join State convened Panel of Experts on Ending Homelessness

February 15, 2017

Coming Home has been asked to participate in a panel convened by the State Department of Human Services on best practices in ending homelessness. The State entertained a panel of national experts in the first of this two part series late last year and is now concentrating on “implementing best practices at the local level.”  We are pleased to be asked to share what we collectively have been able to accomplish here in Middlesex County.

2nd Annual Fundraiser - The Armory in Perth Amboy

October 14, 2016

Please join us on Friday, October 14, 2016 at The Armory in Perth Amboy for our Second Annual Fundraiser Silent Auction.  Have a good time for a good cause. Call 732-296-7954 or email Meriam at by Oct. 11th to make a reservation. Ticket price is $75/person. Or you can pay online through the link below. See you there!



Name of Attendees:

Coming Home's 4th Quarter 2015 Newsletter

January 11, 2016

Below please find the link to Coming Home’s 4th Quarter 2015 Newsletter. We use Mail Chimp to send it out, so are providing you the link here in case you missed it on email. It is chock full of information so please contact us with any questions, ideas or information for volunteering. Of course, you can always support our work on the Get Involved Now page. Thanks. href=””>Click here</a> for the newsletter link.

Silent Auction Success!

November 16, 2015

you're invited

Thanks to all who braved the weather for our silent auction fundraiser at The Armory in October. We had a nice time celebrating our collective successes thus far and raised funds for future endeavors. Thanks so much to all of you and again, congratulations, Ciara, on winning the photo contest.

As had been posted on our Facebook page, Coming Home, in collaboration with Catholic Charities & Rutgers University, started the Photography Club at the Ozanam Family Shelter.
Participants will attended 3 workshops and were provided opportunities to: take photos throughout their community; enhance their photography skills, express themselves artistically through photos and enter their photos in a juried contest. Photos have been displayed throughout Middlesex County, in addition to the Armory, at Mason Gross School of the Arts and the New Brunswick City Hall. They will soon be on their way to Edison. You can purchase a print of any photo displayed here or at the physical sites by contacting us through this website.

you're invited

You're Invited!

September 18, 2015

you're invited

Coming Home is holding its first fundraiser at The Armory in Perth Amboy on October 2, 2015 at 7 pm. It will be an evening social, with dinner, beverages and entertainment and the conduct of a Silent Auction. Come have fun and support Coming Home in its efforts to raise funds for the successful implementation of its Campaign to end homelessness using a Housing First approach. We hope to see you there. Contact Meriam at for more information.

On the Air

January 23, 2015

on the air radio

Listen Here

I spent an early morning hour with Bert Baron of WCTC talking about homelessness in Middlesex County; the collective plan the Coming Home Coalition has to end homelessness and the upcoming Point In Time Survey next Wednesday, 1/28/15. Thanks to Bert for having us and for the interest of the callers. Together we really can end homelessness.
Eileen O’D. Ex. Dir.

Kilmer Homes

December 30, 2014


Kilmer Homes, affordable housing in Edison, will open in the next few months. Thirty (30) of the units are specifically dedicated for people who are homeless, by virtue of the County funding a portion of this excellent endeavor. Applications were solicited earlier this month (deadline 12/22) and yesterday some stakeholders met to begin the selection process, which begins with random opening of the received envelopes and numbering them per random selection. They will then be considered in order to determine if they met the express application criteria. The end result will be that 30 homeless families will soon have a new place to call home. And that is a great thing.
Additionally, Kilmer Homes has 88 other affordable units that have a separte application and process. The deadline for submission of applications for those units is Jan. 5, 2015. Contact Triple C Housing at 732-297-5840 for more information.

One in Four Convening on Unaccompanied Homeless Women

October 27, 2014

Coming Home’s Executive Director attended a conference at Harvard University convened by the American Roundtable to Abolish Homelessness and sponsored by the Downtown Women’s Center of Los Angeles and the Aileen Getty Foundation, among others, on Oct. 24-25, 2014. While its focus was on women, many best, and next, practices were shared for ending homelessness for all. Of particular note was the point made by Cristina Rathbone of Boston on the often prevalent need to ignite a homeless person’s sense of self-worth to permit her to seek out needed services. Reverend Rathbone does this by “requiring things” of people instead of taking care of them in a paternalistic manner. This renewed sense of self-worth provides a needed “sense of belonging” — not to any particular place necessarily, but to the human race, if you will. Also, though we are all familiar with the notion of “housing first,” a new emphasis was presented on “employment first” for persons experiencing homelessness. This doesn’t mean that anyone is blaming the person for his state of affairs: it is just acknowledging that in order for the person to reach his particular level of self-sufficiency, he needs to secure employment and needs help doing so. A few physicians also presented evidence of ways (i) that assisting homeless persons saves the collective health care system unnecessary costs while improving people’s health and (ii) to consequently partner with health care providers and pay for such assistance through formal health care reimbursement mechanisms. Coming Home will bring these messages home to its partners and stakeholders for discussion around implementation locally that can help us end homelessness in Middlesex County.

Through The Eyes of Students: Reflections on Homelessness

June 18, 2014

HP schools sign


When we were young you were told that you should dream.

That you could be whatever you wanted to.

You went to school, you got good grades.

It took a while, dealing with procrastination, mountains of homework, and friend drama.

Finally, college, freedom at last.

But soon you realize, its all a lie.

The freedom you were promised was a lie.

Soon you’re all alone.

No more help.

No job, no help, no friends, no life.

In lonely nights, are filled with fright.

And now in the streets you see the lighted stars, and ask,

“For me tonight light a candle bright, Just like the stars that dance and shine in the light”

 before and after

dreaming on the corner

Help Me!

Freezing cold nights

Scorching hot days

Lonely hours

Silent minutes

Tattered clothes

Empty Stomach

My mouth stays closed

But my eyes are wide open


Help me, help me

Help warm my nights

Cool my days

Help me fill my hours

With happy minutes

Help me put clothes on my body

And food in my growling stomach

My mouth will finally open to say thank you

Help me, help me

hearts and trees

shelter and thanks

 see any difference

Landlord Recognition Ceremony

April 01, 2014

Coming Home of Middlesex County recently recognized three extraordinary landlords who have worked closely with the Homeless Hotline Case Management program. The dedication and cooperation of these, and many other, landlords have proven that new housing opportunities for families experiencing homelessness can be created through concerted Landlord Engagement activities.

landlord recognition

Pictured here  is Middlesex County Landlord, Mark Vaysberg. He is being provided a Certificate of Appreciation jointly by Don Parisi, Secretary of Coming Home’s Board of Directors and Ruth Cruz, Case Manager for the Homeless Hotline.

A special thanks again to Mark Vaysberg…a truly exceptional partnering landlord!!


We would also like to take a moment to recognize Eugene S. Molnar, another terrific landlord who has made tremendous efforts to support Coming Home. He is pictured above in receipt of a Certificate of Appreciation.

Thanks again Eugene for proving that an open mind and an open heart can open doors for homeless individuals and families in Middlesex!!

Coming Home Campaign Presents to New Jersey Interagency Council on Homelessness

March 28, 2014

Coming Home of Middlesex County’s Executive Director, Eileen O’Donnell, presented testimony to the New Jersey Interagency Council on Homelessness on Tuesday, March 25th regarding best practices and a replicable model for the concerted creation of housing opportunities for those experiencing homelessness.

Some have referred to it as the “Holy Trio” others as a “Three Legged Stool”…. However its best understood, The Coming Home Campaign is built upon the foundation that each of the following must be incorporated into any effort to End Homelessness: Accessibility, Affordability, and Sustainability.

Click Here for the Full Presentation

Thank you to Supporters of 2014 Point in Time

February 11, 2014

On January 29, 2014, Coming Home of Middlesex County participated again in the Point In Time Count and Survey, which provides an annual opportunity for Middlesex County to take an informed view of the challenges and opportunities present in our local homeless system.

This year over twenty different agencies offered information and resources to those attending Project Homeless Connect events in New Brunswick, Woodbridge and Perth Amboy. Over 85 volunteers provided countless hours of service through flyer circulation, survey administration, data entry, and street outreach activities.

bonner flyering

 We would like to take a moment to thank all of those who contributed in unique ways to ensure this annual event was informative and successful. Thank You!

Coming Homes' 2013 Annual Report: Creating a System to End Homelessness

January 08, 2014

We are pleased to share our 2013 Annual Report, entitled Creating a System to End Homelessness with all of our partners and supporters. Please be sure to check out the strides that we have made over the past year, and consider ways to strengthen our efforts into 2014.


Here Comes the Neighborhood

December 04, 2013

Check out this New York Times article highlighting the benefits of affordable housing, from October 19, 2013 entitled “Here Comes the Neighborhood”.

We are encouraged by the growing recognition that many of the “fears” concerning the creation of affordable homes for low income families have not been realized. In fact, as this article highlights,  providing affordable housing in high opportunity areas, wields powerful benefits on new residents, as well as on the community itself.

Homeless Persons' Memorial Day - December 21

December 03, 2013

In approximately 175 communities across the country, Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day will be held on Saturday, December 21 – the longest night of the year.   This year, Middlesex County’s commemoration will be hosted by the Reformed Church of Highland Park (RCHP) and the RCHP Affordable Housing Corporation.



All who would like to see an end to homelessness


A brief candlelight memorial event & sharing of poems, artwork and songs


Saturday, December 21, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.


Reformed Church of Highland Park

19 South Second Ave., Highland Park, NJ


1.  Join us on Saturday, December 21, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

2.  Share a poem, story, song or artwork about homelessness

(Contact us if you, or someone you know, would like to participate in this way)

3.  Bring a donation of new men’s and women’s undergarments and socks


Contact Lori Freedman at or call 732-715-9838

Voter Registration Week

September 13, 2012

September 30 -October 6, 2012, is National Homeless and Low-Income Voter Registration Week

Voting allows people to play a part in deciding the direction of their communities by voicing their opinion on issues that are important and relevant to their lives.

Coming Home is proud to support national efforts to ensure all individuals, regardless of housing status, are provided equal access to the democratic process through voter engagement and concerted voter registration efforts.

Middlesex County Voter Registration Forms

The following voter registration forms are downloadable and are already addressed to the County Commissioner of Registration:

Voter Registration in English

Voter Registration in Spanish

Important Dates

Registration Deadline to Vote is MondayOctober 15, 2012

2012 Election Day: Tuesday, November 6, 2012

For more information about planning local voter registration drives or for resources to aid in registering voters in emergency shelters or permanent supportive housing programs please view the following resources:

“You can have an impact on the decisions affecting your life. Register to vote now.”

Coming Home of Middlesex County's Annual Meeting

August 09, 2012

Please save the date Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 8:30am

We encourage you to join us for this annual event which will highlight our work to date and direction for the upcoming year. Your participation is certainly welcomed. A formal invitation will follow shortly with details regarding the location and program.

National Conference on Ending Homelessness

July 16, 2012

The National Alliance To End Homelessness will be holding a National Conference on Ending Homelessness on July 16, 2012 1:00 PM – July 18, 2012 5:00 PM at the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel 999 Ninth Street, NW Washington, 20001 United States. Visit the Alliance’s website to learn more:


June 14, 2012

Sixty eight people from various municipal agencies, including mayors’ offices, police departments, libraries, schools and public housing authorities, and from private service agencies convened at the Edison Public Housing Authority to examine the 2012 Point In Time data on homelessness in Middlesex County and explore solutions to homelessness.

Many of the individuals present deal with homeless individuals on an almost daily basis; accordingly, their perspective and ideas are invaluable. Also, they were receptive to information we were able to provide about institutional ways to help, notably, the County Board of Social Services and some systematic help through social services providers in the County. This event marked the beginning of this year’s conversation about and collaboration to defeat homelessness in our County.