BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ Community Hope, which operates the housing and job training programs for formerly homeless veterans at the Lyons facility of the Veterans Administration off Valley Road, is again seeking a grant from Somerset County to assist formerly homeless veterans find jobs.

The county has in the past responded by approving the grant to maintain the employment training aspect of the Hope for Veterans Program, said Carmine V. Deo, executive director of Community Hope, a nonprofit organization based in Parsippany.

"The County has supported this program for 15 years with a CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) which helps to fund the position of a job coach who works with formerly homeless veterans in our 95-bed Veterans Program," according to Community Hope's letter to the Bernards Township municipal clerk.

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However, part of the application process is seeking the endorsement of the local governing body, which the Bernards Township Committee provided at last Tuesday's meeting.

Township Committeeman Joseph Esposito said at the meeting that the community development block grants are federal monies received by the state, which are then received by the county.

The first transitional housing for homeless veterans opened at the Department of Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care System in Lyons in 2004. Since then, two developments with 62 and 50 units of permanent housing for veterans have opened on the Lyons campus.

Job training _ including skills assessment, technology training, establishing connections to employment opportunities, and more _ is offered in conjunction with houseing for the veterans.