Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton and Senator Vin Gopal, which would require hospitals and homeless shelters to provide information on services and resources to individuals who are homeless or military veterans, was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.
“In order to provide the best comprehensive care possible, hospitals need to determine if there are any social determinants that can affect outcomes,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “By requiring hospitals to identify if someone is homeless or is a veteran, hospitals will be able to offer social services and access to programs they might not have known existed otherwise.”
The law will now require general acute care hospitals and emergency shelters for the homeless to provide information about special services and resources to certain individuals receiving services from the hospital or shelter. Specifically, hospitals licensed in the State will be required to inquire, as part of the hospital’s patient intake process, whether the individual seeking services is homeless or is a military veteran.
“Our homeless citizens are three times more likely to use emergency services than the general public,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “New Jersey already offers several resources and services for individuals who are experiencing homelessness and for military veterans. But by meeting individuals where they are with appropriate information and referral practices, more individuals could take advantage of the programs available to them.”
In addition, emergency shelters for the homeless will now be required to inquire whether the individual who is to receive services is a military veteran. In the event that the individual responds in the affirmative, the shelter will be required to provide the individual with information concerning special services and resources that are available to the individual based on the individual’s status as a military veteran.