A New Jersey lawmaker is pressing ahead with an aggressive plan to combat homelessness in the Garden State.

State Senator Dick Codey unveiled a series of initiatives and legislation to address the issue today at Newark Penn Station – where many homeless men and women come to seek shelter.

“We simply cannot sit around anymore and think that the problem of homelessness in New Jersey is going to solve itself,” said Codey, “The folks we see on the streets are not strangers. They are family, they are friends, and they are former co-workers. They are people who needs help but are facing a system that refuses to give it to them. The time has come for that to change.”

The Senator is sponsoring a measure to prohibit discrimination by an emergency shelter against mentally ill people who don’t pose a danger to themselves or others, and another bill that would prohibit emergency shelters for the homeless from refusing to provide services for 72 hours.

Codey also wants more social workers to be hired, to reach out the homeless men and women who seek shelter under bridges, in tunnels and in parks.

This past March Codey went undercover - dressed as a homeless man – and visited a shelter to learn more firsthand about the problem.