Pine Hill police and Volunteers of America form collaborative effort to help the needy

Amanda Leese, vice president of Navigation and Safe Return for Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, and Pine Hill Police Chief Christopher Winters.
Photo credit David Madden/KYW Newsradio
PINE HILL, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) —  A new partnership between a Camden County police department and the Volunteers of America is aimed at addressing social issues on a number of fronts. 

Three VOA staffers will work out of the Pine Hill police department five days a week. They’ll team with officers to address needs when they first surface, getting ahead of many situations before they get critical.

“With the establishment of our expanded partnerships, individuals suffering from mental health issues, substance abuse, homelessness or re-entry needs will now receive immediate and direct services through our new Law Enforcement and Social Services Team,” Police Chief Christopher Winters told KYW Newsradio. “The partnership has developed a unique social service delivery system that creates the opportunity for engagement at every point of contact.”

Volunteers of America will connect those in need with agencies that can provide help and follow up to make sure needs are met.

“This unique partnership affords us the opportunity to more effectively serve vulnerable populations within Pine Hill and the lower Camden County region, said Amanda Leese, vice president of Navigation and Safe Return for Volunteers of America Delaware Valley. “The establishment of the Camden Navigational Resource Center Satellite Office embedded within the Pine Hill police department centrally focuses and streamlines service delivery to homeless and at-risk individuals.”

The New Jersey Department of Human Services is contributing $2 million to fund efforts like this in Camden and Atlantic counties and hopes to get other police departments involved.