7/12/2024: Due to the forecasted inclement weather, tonight’s Movie in the Park (Migration) at Van Saun County Park is CANCELED. The movie will not be rescheduled.
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Special Programs

Tracers/Donations

Tracers wants to end homelessness for veterans in Bergen County by helping homeless veterans and veterans in danger of becoming homeless, and giving a hand to homeless vets, not a hand-out. Working together, we can do it.

Assisting homeless veterans is a top priority for the Bergen County Division of Veterans Services and its Advisory Board. In 1993, the division addressed this priority by launching Tracers, an all-volunteer group consisting of resident veterans.

The primary mission of our volunteers is to locate homeless veterans and link them to community-based and VA sponsored programs and benefits. Tracers hopes to find veterans shelters, jobs which provide adequate income, as well as other needed services in Bergen County. Tracers works with local veteran groups and other nonprofit organizations, public officials, business leaders, homeless and formerly homeless veterans.

Our program's name, Tracers, was derived from the glow-in-the-dark bullets recognized by U.S. Military personnel. The veterans who volunteer for Tracers are guiding lights who offer nontraditional outreach efforts to homeless veterans.

The goal of Tracers is to help every homeless veteran in Bergen County reach self-sufficiency. In addition, Tracers has established a transitional home in the city of Garfield with support services for eight homeless veterans. The home opened in 2003.

While the exact number of homeless veterans in Bergen County is unknown, the number is estimated at nearly one hundred. Some veterans in Bergen are without a residence, but they are not really homeless - the United States is their home. In 1994, Tracers was recognized by Rutgers University for its innovation and received the coveted New Jersey State and Local Award. In April 1996, the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, Inc. honored Tracers as a finalist in the adult volunteer category.

Donations to the Tracers program are used to supply bus tickets to jobs, assist in preparing the veteran for employment, and to fill-in gaps in the service delivery system. Since our inception, more than $100,000 in bus tickets were given to homeless vets.

There's no time like the present to send a check or call us for needed supplies at 201-336-6325. Kindly make check payable to:

     County of Bergen - Tracers
     Bergen County Division of Veterans  Services
     One Bergen County Plaza, 2nd Floor 
     Hackensack, NJ 07601

You can help by also donating $25 - $50 gift certificates redeemable in Hackensack stores such as Sears, S-4 Military Surplus, and CVS Pharmacy.

We also need new items such as carrying bags, sweatshirts (large and extra large), etc., which may be dropped off weekdays between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Parking is available. Pickup can be arranged for individual cartons weighing less than 25 lbs. (if volunteers are available).

Tracers assures that every penny donated is spent on items and services which help improve the lives of former members of the United States Military and their families who are now homeless.

Alfred J. Thomas Home for Veterans

The Alfred J. Thomas Home provides transitional housing and support services for veterans. Our mission is to ensure that Bergen County homeless veterans are assisted in their return to the community by becoming self-sufficient through rehabilitation. The home is named for Alfred J. Thomas, who started the Bergen County Tracers Program, which uses a nontraditional approach to link homeless veterans to community-based entitlements and services. 

Mr. Thomas was a U.S. Army veteran who served in World War II, a member of the Division of Veterans Services Advisory Council, and a life-long member of VFW Post #5561 of Bogota. Learn more about donations to the home.

Transportation

Phone: 201-368-5955 

Transportation to Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in New Jersey is available Monday through Friday through a coordinated effort with the Bergen County Division of Community Transportation and the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Flag Distribution

Phone: 201-336-6325 

Each year, the Division of Veterans Services provides various veterans groups and Boy Scout Troops with United States flags for Memorial Day placement on the graves of war veterans buried in Bergen County cemeteries.

Hire a Vet Program

Phone: 201-336-6329 

The division maintains a list of available employment opportunities, and regularly calls on industry and organizations seeking employment opportunities for veterans. Staff attempts to match the veteran with employer needs. 

Interment

Phone: 201-336-6325 

Veterans who were honorably or generally discharged from the military and have passed away may be interred in the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Arneytown, New Jersey. Their place of rest is marked and cared for perpetually.

Contact Us

Shaun Hutchinson

Director

Phone: 201-336-6325 • Fax: 201-336-6327

Email Veterans Services

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 Bergen County Department of Human Services

One Bergen County Plaza  • 2nd Floor • Hackensack, NJ 07601-7076

Phone: 201-336-7474 • Fax: 201-336-7450

Hours: 8:30 am - 8:30 pm (varies by division)