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03-07-12, 08:03 PM #1
New Jersey state senator disguises himself as homeless man to spotlight shelters' discrimination against menA phony beard, a fake tattoo and clothes dragged through grass and stained with coffee were all it took to transform former New Jersey Governor Richard Codey into a homeless man looking for shelter on a frigid night this week.
His self-appointed undercover mission to spotlight what he calls discrimination against men by shelters took about three months of planning before Codey stood at the door of the Goodwill Rescue mission in Newark, New Jersey at 8 p.m. on Monday, asking to be let in.
Codey, 65, who is a state senator but disguised himself as a homeless man, had already been denied admission to about 25 other local shelters because he was not receiving welfare or other government assistance, he told Reuters on Wednesday.Codey, frequently mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for governor, plans to take his findings to seek more federal money for the homeless. The National Alliance to End Homelessness said more than 636,000 people were homeless in the United States in 2011.
He is particularly concerned with single men and those with mental health issues, who he says are unfairly shut out of the shelter system. He said women and families have far greater access to emergency housing.
When Goodwill agreed to take him in, offering a thin bedroll, a blanket and a spot on a linoleum floor with 20 other men, he thought he'd finally found a haven.
Then came the shower call.
"I was terrified because I knew if I had a shower, my makeup was coming off," said Codey, whose undercover team included a makeup artist who spent nearly an hour transforming him, painting tobacco stains on his teeth and drawing broken blood vessels and dirt on his skin.
03-07-12, 11:22 PM #2
While this needs reform, I'm tired of the Democratic knee-jerk solution to any problem is to throw more money at it. It's why we're $15T in debt and the value of the dollar is sinking."If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton
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