District Attorney, Sheriff and Hope One to Collaborate to Fight Addiction and Mental Illness

MAYS LANDING — Three major agencies dealing with crime, mental illness and addiction in Atlantic County signed an agreement Thursday to pool their resources to help more people.

Atlantic County District Attorney William E. Reynolds and Atlantic County Sheriff Eric Scheffler signed a memorandum of understanding with William Mazur, executive director of the Hope Exist Foundation, to work together on the problems they all face.

The plan is to coordinate efforts to provide support and services for people struggling with addictions, mental health, homelessness and more, according to a statement from Reynolds Thursday.

The main component of the project is a mobile outreach unit, which will expand its reach in the coming months, according to the statement.

“The parties agree that, where appropriate, a combined and cooperative effort in support of the Hope Exists Foundation and its efforts is best suited to have the greatest impact on the greatest number of people,” the statement reads. OK. “Therefore, this MOU establishes a partnership for the benefit of all parties to serve the community, compounding efforts to maximize our ability to help those in need.”

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The parties plan to expand the partnership in the future with joint public events, regular meetings, and the sharing of resources and data as appropriate, the statement said.

Reynolds is leading an effort to establish mental health courts in New Jersey and is working with State Senator Vince Polistina and Assemblymen Don Guardian and Claire Swift, all R-Atlantic, to craft legislation to make it a reality. .

Scheffler started Project Hope One in 2018, as a mobile outreach effort to engage with people with substance use disorders on the streets and get them into treatment.

Scheffler used the Morris County initiative of the same name as a model for Hope One.

The program follows individuals throughout their treatment, helping participants overcome obstacles and issues that arise as they transition into recovery.

Upon completion of initial treatment, participants are connected to support services, follow-up and recovery maintenance, according to Scheffler.

JOURNALIST: Michelle Brunetti


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