Governor Christie Addresses Atlantic City Homeless Issue [AUDIO]
Governor Christie used a stop on his Endless Summer Tax Relief Tour to address a topic he rarely hits upon- homelessness in Atlantic City.
The Governor was in Brant Beach Thursday speaking to a crowd of 300 in the gazebo of Bayview Park about the usual subjects of his town hall tour - tax relief and "Corzine Democrats" getting to Trenton to vote for a tax relief measure. However, during a Q&A portion, Christie addressed a question about a lawsuit from the Atlantic City Mission against Ocean County, for allegedly sending their homeless residents to them - even though the mission Is full.
Christie said the issue of homelessness is important for many areas; however Atlantic County can't continually be the recipient of South Jersey's homeless population.
"The Mission down there does great work and does a great job, but they only have so much capacity. And when they can't take people and they begin to get turned away, it's creating a bigger problem for Atlantic County."
That problem according to the governor is the crime a small percentage of the population brings with it.
"As Atlantic City is trying to revitalize itself as a resort community/destination, some of those folks are contributing to the crime problem."
Christie said the responsibility of dealing with homelessness should lie with each individual county, and not be thrust up someone else.
"Essentially what Atlantic County is telling me is 'why should we be responsible for other counties homeless folks?' and why don't those counties have facilities for themselves?'"
He notes, especially during the revitalization efforts of Atlantic City not to burden the city and county authorities.
"If we want Atlantic City to come back and be more vibrant, we've got to be doing a better job of not sending so many more difficult issues to Atlantic City, and expect lots of people to go there on vacation."