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Lakewood’s homeless freeze in the cold

garbage can fire.jpg(Click HERE to watch the video. ) There is no mailbox, no sidewalk, no driveway, and no zip code for the small shanty town that’s been created at the back of an abandoned lot in Lakewood. Yet for about a dozen homeless men, the disheveled campsite has been home for the last several months.

With the temperature hovering in the teens on this particular Wednesday morning, the men were found huddled together inside one small tent, doing what they could to keep warm.

Samuel Serrera lives in the makeshift community. He came to Lakewood hoping to find work and make a living. Instead, he’s had no luck with either.

Serrera’s friends are about the only support you’ll find within the shanty town. The lot is a few hundred yards away from the nearest road and their only protection from the brutal cold are a couple of propane-fueled space heaters and the thin walls of their summer camping tents.

Minister Steven Brigham does what he can to help, but claims Ocean County has turned its back on the homeless community, which he says includes illegal aliens as well as U.S. citizens.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize how dangerous it is to sleep outside in this type of weather,” Brigham said.

But town officials say its the state that’s turned its back, and not the town of Lakewood. “It’s not a Lakewood problem, it’s not a Tom’s River problem, or Pine Beach, or Beach Haven problem. It’s an Ocean County problem, it’s a state problem, and we need to get people to take their heads out of the sand,” Lakewood Mayor Raymond Coles said.

County officials claim they are vigorously reaching out to those in need. “If they come to us, we will attempt to get them into some type of shelter,” Ocean County spokeswoman Mary McFadden said in a statement.

There is a shelter for men that the Lakewood shanty town group could go to, but it’s 25 miles away in Waretown, which might as well be in another state for these men.

“It shows they’re really not concerned about the well being of the men right now,” Brigham said.

For at least one more night, it appears the campers’ main concern will be keeping warm. In the meantime, Lakewood has formed a joint municipal/clergy committee to tackle the homeless issue. Their first meeting is scheduled for February 22.


15 Responses

  1. Welfare is for US citizens, not illegal aliens. The problem is that they have babies here, who are instant US citizens and qualify for welfare benefits. It’s overwhelming the system.

  2. I can’t believe this!! I have a wonderful idea; it is much warmer in Mexico and South Amercia! These guys are ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS! COMPRENDE???

  3. To Nisht Ahe Nisht Aher:

    Oh, excuse me Mr. Goody-Two Shoes, let me rephrase:

    I can’t believe this!! I have a wonderful idea; it is much warmer in Mexico and South Amercia! Some of these guys are ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS! COMPRENDE???

  4. Those who are legally here should go where there is employment (not necessarily in Lakewood) and find apts. Those who are illegal should be sent back to where it is warmer (where they came from). The article said they thought they’d find jobs here, I wonder where they got that info. from? (tongue in cheek)Why is it that where ever “unzherer” live , there are so many such people? (I have nothing against legal, honest, hard working immigrants, mind you) I think it is just men involved (see video on no wives and children to be concerned about.

  5. yesh anashim im baayot, you can’t fix ’em all, not with shelters, welfare or deportation. ki lo yechdal evyon mikerv haaretz… remember those folks in zichroin moshe and har tzvi? I used to try to help some of them, its pretty rough. They are’nt there cause they had a bad day at the nasdaq, they are pretty royally messed up. So feel bad for them, give them a dollar, a smile, and a kind word, and MOVE ON.

  6. I do not hire these people to do any work for me.

    Perhaps, if we didn’t hire them to clean our houses, cut our grass etc., and the stores didn’t hire them (even if it means paying a higher salary to a legal resident – and we the consumer pays the extra few coins), perhaps they will go away.

    the latest boycot lists seems to be:
    illegal aliens

    who else – add to the list…

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