Gopal Calls for Congress to Help Veterans Homes Address COVID-19

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Senator and Senate Chair of Military and Veterans Affairs Vin Gopal is introducing a new Joint Resolution calling on the United States Congress to release funds offsetting COVID-19 related losses to the veteran memorial homes operated by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).

“New Jersey veterans homes are struggling,” said Senator Gopal (D-Long Branch). “I'm deeply grateful to all of the home health aides who are working tirelessly to help their residents, but we will need proper resources to stem the tide of tragedies that have swept through these facilities. At a time when so many of these residents are fighting for their lives, it's time for the federal government to step in and support the men and women who so selflessly fought for our country. Congress must provide COVID-19 funding to ensure that these residents have a safe and well-operated home.”

DMVA operates three veteran memorial homes, which are located in Paramus, Menlo Park, and Vineland. Collectively, the three memorial homes accommodate approximately 950 veterans, spouses, and the spouses and parents of veterans killed in action. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the residents and staff at the memorial homes, with staff and residents alike becoming infected or passing away due to the virus.

COVID-19 has also caused a financial hardship at DMVA, due in large part to lost revenues due to a prohibition on new admittances, overtime and contract nursing care, food shortages, and costs related to personal protective equipment. Currently, DMVA is projected to face an economic loss of more than $15 million.