Mary Tobin
Submitted by Ashlee Brown on

We sat down with Mary Tobin, newly appointed director of the Brownsville Partnership, to discuss her vision for helping Brownsville address key issues identified by the community, like health, employment and safety. Mary, a West Point graduate and former Army officer, joined Community Solutions after working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Submitted by Jake Maguire on

Julia Orlando is not interested in your excuses.

Talking on speaker phone from her office at the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center, she walks me through the work she and her team have undertaken over the last several years to tackle homelessness locally, first among veterans and more recently among those experiencing chronic— or long-term— homelessness.

Increased coordination: check. A countywide commitment to Housing First: check. Clear monthly performance targets: check. Real-time, person-specific data: check.

Submitted by Rosanne Haggerty on

We are living through a moment of profound social disruption. As information becomes increasingly fragmented and faith in traditional institutions declines, more and more people are sensing the unraveling of the shared fabric that has traditionally connected communities. Electoral trends around the world seem to reinforce this notion.

Bergen County Pushes to End Homelessness Among Veterans

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
They call Vincent Weston "Sarge" at the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center, though the homeless Army veteran was actually a private when he served in the early 80s.
"I'm just a bossy person," he said.
The center will soon have to promote someone else.

A Way Home for Tulsa Surpasses Goal of Housing 290 Homeless Veterans

Friday, January 22, 2016
A collaboration of 23 area agencies working to house and provide support services to those in need surpassed its goal of housing 290 homeless veterans last year.
Working as A Way Home for Tulsa, the agencies spearheaded Zero:2016 Tulsa, part of a national effort to end veteran and chronic homelessness.
The collaboration was able to house 298 veterans and 78 chronically homeless.

Connecticut Ends Chronic Veteran Homelessness, Reaching ‘Functional Zero,’ Advocates Say

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Following an eight-year stint with the U.S. Air Force in Southeast Asia in the 1970s, John Watts was a computer technician for the federal government for 16 years.
Now, at 68, Watts visits the Veterans Affairs Errera Community Center in West Haven every day, a place he calls his “lifeline.”
“This is where I received care, understanding and appreciation of me and my problems,” Watts said, and proudly added he has been sober for close to nine years.
Homeless Man in South Arlington

Arlington Reaches ‘Functional Zero’ for Veteran Homelessness in 2015

Friday, January 15, 2016
Officials report Arlington County has “achieved functional zero” one year after pledging to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.
“This is a tremendous milestone for our community,” County Board Chair Libby Garvey said in a statement. “Committing to end veteran homelessness in 2015 and chronic homelessness in 2016 was a lot to bite off. But if any community could do it, we were confident it would be us.