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MAYS LANDING - Atlantic County unveiled in August its latest weapon in the fight against the ever-growing drug crisis that has gripped communities throughout the county — the Hope One Mobile Unit.

The mission of Hope One, based-off of a mobile unit in Monmouth County, is to provide mental health and substance use disorder education, awareness and outreach services to Atlantic County residents — all free of charge. It will travel straight into the heart of communities hit by the crisis offering each person who seeks help an individualized treatment plan.

Representatives from Legacy Treatment Services, Join Together Atlantic County, Shore Medical Center, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will travel on Hope One to provide an array of services, including assisting with Medicare applications and temporary identification.

“A lot of people who have fallen on hard times don’t have identification,” said Sheriff Eric Scheffler at the Atlantic County Criminal Justice Complex on Aug. 16. He also expressed how deeply moved he was by those who came for the launch of Hope One.

Scheffler’s gratefulness extended to the county, too.

“The county was kind enough to give us the vehicle,” he said. Through private donations and funding, the sheriff and his partners were able to restore the 12-year-old vehicle.

Their hard work and dedication fit in perfectly with how Scheffler views Hope One.

By going into communities throughout the county, Scheffler believes they are putting their hope into action and reaching the people who need it the most.

“The hardest thing about this crisis is connecting these services to those who need it,” he said.

State Sen. Chris Brown, R-2nd District, was thrilled when he saw that the name of the mobile unit was going to be hope.

“I was really happy when I saw that Hope was the name ... that’s what Atlantic County is about,” he said.

Brown also put great emphasis on the fact that the drug crisis is something that both sides of the political aisle care about. To show the state Senate’s gratefulness for the Hope One Mobile Unit, Brown presented the sheriff with a resolution to thank him and everyone involved for all of their hard work for making Hope One a reality.

The ceremony was held recently at the Atlantic County Criminal Justice Complex. The mission of Hope One is to provide mental health and substance use disorder education, awareness and outreach services to Atlantic County residents free of charge.

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