Hackensack -- Osceola County officials are seeking advice from Bergen County on how to address the growing homeless population in their community. 

Last Tuesday, Aug. 1, Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco and representatives from the Bergen County Housing, Health, & Human Services Center hosted county and municipal officials from Osceola County, Florida to discuss programs and services offered by the center for homeless and at-risk individuals in Bergen County.

Bergen County was recognized last August by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on becoming the first county in New Jersey to end homelessness among veterans. Earlier this spring, HUD also recognized Bergen County on becoming the first community in the nation to effectively end chronic homelessness.

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The meeting included a guided tour of the facility and an in-depth discussion of strategies that could be replicated in Osceola County, Florida.

For more information about the situation in Osceola County:


Photo 1: from left to right – Daniel Ortega (Chairman, Housing Authority of Bergen County), Lynn Bartlett (Executive Director, Housing Authority of Bergen County), Fenesha Holmes (Housing Authority of Bergen County), Julia Orlando (Director, Bergen County Housing, Health, & Human Services Center), Mary Downey (Executive Director, Community Hope Center), Chief Judge Frederick Lauten (Florida 9th Circuit Court), Osceola County Commissioner Peggy Choudhry, Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco,  Kissimmee City Commissioner Olga Gonzalez, and Shelly Lauten, (CEO of Central Florida Commission on Homelessness)

Photo 2: photo touring the cafeteria at the Housing, Health, & Human Services Center