The column that says you would be surprised at what you can learn at Texas Roadhouse while showing more than a passing interest in the staff, including death way too young and saving the life of a young girl through a bank because you’re a match because someone else was a match to save someone in your family, and would Jim Quinn be interested in sharing her story on SNJ Today?
By Jack Hummel
Radio: 92.1 FM WVLT
U.S. Army: RA13815980
Google all columns at jackhummelblog
On behalf of the Cumberland County Housing First Collaborative, you are cordially invited to attend and participate in our Housing First Press Conference and Launch on Dec. 9, at 10:30 a.m. at the Bridgeton Waterfront (across from the Salvation Army) on E. Commerce St., Bridgeton.
The Cumberland County Housing First Collaborative is a unique consortium of social service organizations, faith-based institutions, and government officials committed to tackling the problem of chronic homelessness in Cumberland County.
The guiding agency of this collaborative is the M25 Initiative, a nonprofit organization based in Bridgeton, which also facilitates the grassroots Cumberland County Code Blue Coalition.
The other partners of the collaborative include Gateway Community Action Partnership, PRAC of Southern New Jersey, Resources for Independent Living, CompleteCare, and Revive South Jersey.
The collaborative is operating in partnership with the Cumberland County Jail, Inspira Health Network, Monarch Housing, and researchers from Rutgers University.
With the support of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, the collaborative is launching a historic movement to end chronic homelessness in Cumberland County by 2020.
Utilizing 42 housing vouchers provided by the state and coupling it with other resources, we are implementing a comprehensive strategy to find homeless individuals permanent housing.
Housing will be coupled with wrap-around services to keep them off the street and pointed toward fulfilling and productive lives. For more information, please visitwww.endhomelessness2020.com.
— Pastor Dr. Robin Weinstein
A little history
Oct. 20, 2o13
Bridgeton is an angry city.
City leaders want to turn that anger to hope.
Robin Weinstein is a leader in the city of anger who wants to make a difference.
The difference is, the pastor of Bethany Grace Community Church on North Pearl Street seems to be doing something about it.
For five years, the church has canceled Sunday services for a community day.
“We give away food,” said Weinstein, only 32. “We give away clothes and we give away furniture.”
On Sunday, Oct. 20, Bethany partnered with the Salvation Army to feed people.
“We’re also sending out teams of three from the congregation with $20 or $30 to do random acts of kindness,” he said.
In a city where community meetings were called twice in the same week to do something about violent crime, is Weinstein on to something?
A little history:
Weinstein didn’t want to stay in Bridgeton after college, even though he grew up two blocks from the church.
“Then in my senior year at college, I watched the movie ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ one night,” he said. “If I’m going to make a difference, I should go back.”
The congregation was down to 15 when he arrived for two weeks to fill in as preacher eight years ago.
“We had to make a choice,” he said. “Leave the building or stay in the neighborhood in the poorest city south of Camden.”
“We are constantly bombarded by the homelessness,” he said.
Just the night before, he dealt with a family living out of a van whose unemployment benefits had run out.
People sleep in the alley by the church. Human waste has to sometimes be scooped up. Because he was once the assistant business administrator of Salem County, he has connections.
“The hospitals call me and ask me what to do with somebody,” he said.
But Robin Weinstein is not the man and doesn’t want to be the man.
He just turned out to be the man on the tracks when the Bethany train came along.
“We have the resources, but we don’t have a coordinated plan to fix things,” he said of society. “It must be a partnership between church and government.”
He would love to build a rescue mission like Atlantic City has.
“They give people temporary housing there,” he said. “We have volunteers there. They
also have caseworkers to get them to social services.”
Weinstein is a full-time faculty member at Wilmington University and chairman of the Eastern University Charter Academy in center-city Philly, a school that graduated 300 last year, all going to college.
But he is not part of the Bridgeton Ministerium.
He turned down being a part of ReviveSJ, the group started last year by five Presbyterian churches to help Bridgeton people.
“You have to understand we had just broken away from the Presbyterian church,” he explained. “I never said I wouldn’t do it.”
His theology is the church exists for the members to serve the world, not to take in money just to take in money.
“We’re going to go and do something,” he said to his congregation.
“What?” they exclaimed.
Turns out, they loved the yard sale with everything free. Four hours, it lasted. They did a community day, and people stole catsup bottles.
“So give them hot dogs and rolls to go with it,” Weinstein told them.
They held a bake sale for a food bank.
“Things can get better,” he said. “It takes coordinated leadership to have a vision, a simple vision everybody can understand.
“People always want to complain about things, about the government, but the government is a reflection of ourselves,” he said. “Look in the mirror.
“We like change, but we want other people to change. We talk social issues, but let’s look at the disease.
“Change the heart and the mind will change. If the mind changes, people will change and the world will change.”
He tells the story of the duck village.
“Every Sunday morning, they would waddle to church, sing duck hymns and the duck preacher would get up and say, ‘You have been given wings to fly and do great things!’
“And the duck congregation would shout, ‘Amen!’
“And, after the benediction, the ducks would waddle back home.”
Weinstein talks to Mayor Albert Kelly. He talks to Jonathan Cummings, director of
ReviveSJ. He dreams about the mission.
“How do we get from the problems to the solutions?” he asks. “We have lack of education, even with passion among teachers. We perpetuate this cycle of hopelessness.
“We’re losing upward mobility. We don’t have the creativity. We’re being stupefied by technology. We need to have an army of compassion to mobilize. We can do great things
But we’re just waddling.
We’ve come a long way in three short years.
But why can’t other efforts be as successful, have the same staying power and not fall by the wayside after an ambitious start?
So, so much to accomplish.
Is this a modern Doris Day or Betty White?
“My farm has been a drop off for people’s cats and neighbor’s cats.
“I really need some help here, please. I have over 20 cats here not including 3 litters.
“All my own cats have been spayed and neutered years ago. Any advice, please.”
— Millville Community Cat Program
“You know how frustrating it is to find funds to operate a school!
“Thank you for all you do for the children of Deerfield.”
— Deanna Speranza-Murphy,
former BOE president
Soroptimist Cumberland County, Inc. has their new clipless coupon cards ready for sale.
Contact any member.
“The Bridgeton Christmas Parade is on Nov. 27.
“They need more participation. If you have a old classic car you want to show off, get hold of me. It you have a group that you would like to promote, get hold of me.
“Come out and help our community.
“Please share this post for me. And for all you Football fans. the Eagles do not play that day. They play Nov. 28 on Monday night football.”
— Andrew Bodine
Officer Rick Kott will strafe the nets for 30 points.
No Bobby Hutch and no Alan Shaw.
And especially no Ed Salmon.
“Looking for willing hands to spread mulch on a bunch of brand-new perennial flower beds in the park opposite the Cohanzick Zoo on Mayor Aitken Drive.
“Meet in the zoo parking lot Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. Bring work gloves and shovel if you have them (we’ll provide extras).
“These wonderful gardens have been donated by Overdevest Nurseries as part of their contribution to ‘Love Where You Live,’ a project of the Cohansey Area Watershed Association.
“With your help to get them through the winter, they will be glorious next spring!
“Dedication planned for Friday, Nov. 18.”
— Caroline Owens,
“Bridgeton Area Rocket Club launch Saturday at Rabbit Hill Farms, 227 East Ave., Shiloh by Mike Zapolski.
“Setup begins at 9 a.m. Pads open at 09:30. Visit the BARC website’s Launch Day page (https://barc775.wordpress.com/launch-day/ ) for map, and last minute updates.
“Base flights to 5,500 feet, extended flights to 8,000 feet (coord. in real-time with PHL Radar Approach Control), and a 3rd pad cell controller allowing ‘K’ motor launches.
— Mike Zapolski,
Shiloh is turning into Cape Canaveral.
Rotary Christmas Tree Lighting on Nov. 22, 6 to 7 p.m., in Bridgeton Pocket Park, corner of Commerce and Laurel streets.
Special guest: Santa Claus. Sing carols and join together for a (food) reception at WHIBCO, Inc., where your host is Wade Sjogren.
Bring the whole family for some early Christmas cheer!
Another young man in Bridgeton succumbed to drugs Sunday night.
Hope his 3-year-old grows up to understand.
How many statistics do you need to know before we need to shake up our young people in grade school before they get on this shit?
You can’t win after! Ask the families of all the drug addicts!
It has to be seen for what it is — like sticking a knife through your heart, and the hearts of everyone in your family!
“But, no, don’t traumatize the kids!”
We’ll pay for the trauma treatment, OK? The odds have to be better than drug treatment.
A little history
Sept. 27, 2015
Trevor Ward, a kind hearted, fun-loving senior from Cumberland Regional High School in Seabrook, is battling leukemia with the support of his family, friends, school, and community.
During pre-season (August) for CRHS Boys Soccer, Trevor became fatigued and developed problems with his leg muscles which made it hard for him to keep up with his teammates.
Trevor’s doctor visit and blood work showed that he was anemic and would have to “sit out” of soccer for the season. Trevor’s soccer coach was very supportive and made Trevor a manager.
With the start of his senior year, Trevor’s fatigue worsened, he began to have shortness of breath, and was unusually pale. Already knowing that his last blood work showed he was anemic, his doctor ordered more blood work.
Upon receiving the lab results, Trevor was ordered to go directly to the hospital. Trevor’s hemoglobin was very low.
He received a blood transfusion and was transferred to DuPont. He then had a bone marrow biopsy, and within two days the results were back … LEUKEMIA! Now Trevor knew why, even though he tried with all of his might he just couldn’t run and keep up with his soccer buddies. We are asking for prayers and support to help Trevor face his challenger — Leukemia.
Today, Trevor is cancer free.
YOU CAN BOOK IT: Where Katelyn Whitesall has been chosen by God to save the life of a young girl somewhere because she is a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant because she signed up after she saw Trevor Ward saved.