ATLANTIC CITY — Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties will no longer be the only agency dealing with people who find themselves stranded in the resort.
The board of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority voted Tuesday to add Volunteers of America of Delaware Valley to its traveler’s assistance program.
Prior to Tuesday, Jewish Family Service was the only agency officially designated to deal with stranded travelers, though Volunteers of America provided relocation services in the city on a case-by-case basis.
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CRDA Executive Director Matthew J. Doherty said he had been out on a ridealong with police and saw firsthand people in the Tourism District who were stuck in the resort.
“They had no family, no job, no place to live,” Doherty said.
The item the board approved would streamline the process and allow Volunteers of America to act more quickly, Doherty said.
The people who have been helped by Volunteers of America have been a combination of transient, homeless and those with unstable housing situations, said Amanda Leese, vice president of the safe-return program at Volunteers of America of Delaware Valley.
“We are very, very excited about this opportunity,” Leese said.
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From July 1, 2018, to June 30, 106 people needed relocation or traveler’s assistance, and Volunteers of America was able to help 97 of them, Leese said.
Officers involved with the city’s community policing efforts are aware of Volunteers of America’s work in the resort, Doherty said.
“They (Volunteers of America) are already helping a lot of people in this town,” said James T. Plousis, chairman of the Casino Control Commission and a CRDA board member.
In other CRDA news, the board gave preliminary and final site approval with variances for the renovation and expansion of the outdoor seating area of the Celebrity Corner restaurant at Montpelier Avenue and the Boardwalk.
Celebrity Corner sought a variance for outdoor seating because the restaurant has 24 indoor seats, and the proposal was for 52 outdoor seats. The restaurant was not permitted to have more outdoor seating than indoor seating without the variance.
The board also authorized a two-year agreement with G & F Graphic Services Inc. in an amount not to exceed $242,892 for printing and delivery services for the Official Atlantic City Visitor Guide and Visitor Map.