Shelters in Toms River - for animals, but not for homeless

Is a 7,000 square foot animal shelter in Toms River more important than a human homeless shelter? 30 days of "shelter" decisions would make our community believe that.

On March 13, the Toms River Township Council approved a new 7,000 square foot animal shelter as part of a 6.4 million dollar renovation to police headquarters and expansion of the municipal court - . Less than one month earlier, the First Assembly of God of Toms River which is located less than 1.5 miles from this newly approved animal shelter, had to withdraw their application to the Township to build a human homeless shelter for our own abused and sick species - . Ironically, it was decided that our town’s best interest is to invest millions of dollars in the livelihood of stray cats and dogs while postponing and delaying any resolution or idea to rescue the least among us.

To care for animals is a godly virtue as Proverbs 12:10 says, “The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel.” Building an animal shelter is a worthy cause and caring for sick and abused animals is a moral responsibility not to be neglected. However, our homeless neighbors are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26, 27) and when we specifically care for them, we are ultimately caring for Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:31-46). If there is $6.4 million to house animals and incarcerate homeless individuals on a short term basis in the new police headquarters if they commit a crime, then resources must become available to house and rehabilitate them before such actions. 

Has our humanistic moral relevancy exalted the care for beasts to a greater level than the care for our brothers? Many members of our community whether in Toms River, Brick, or Berkeley are hesitant to have such shelters because some people in need have serious addictions or domestic violence issues. Sadly, our neighborhoods already have people who struggle with these same issues, but because they have a home, we allow our children to walk past their “homes of addiction and abuse” to get to the school bus each day without a second thought. 

I encourage you to visit the facebook page of More to Life Ministry, reaching out to the homeless of Toms River.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

bon April 02, 2012 at 07:02 PM
most of the homeless are animals so maybe we could house they could share a cell with fido. Then, if nobody claims them they can be euthanized.
Celia S April 04, 2012 at 04:46 AM
It saddens me to think that most of us have become so detached from humanity. We live in a world that revolves around material objects, money and SELFish ways. We often forget the bigger picture of life, we are all one of the same human race. While I agree that the majority of the homeless community has or had a drug/alcohol problem, I disagree on the judgement we pass on these individuals.Are we all so perfect? Did you ever think by helping these people we may offer hope, encouragement or love to them. Most of the homeless community have been homeless since they were children/teenagers, have lost their jobs or have a mental illness. It is easy to be ignorant/fearful of the unknown. No one is asking you to volunteer at a shelter, but think about how tragic it would be if that was you. No matter what (by their choice or not), no one deserves to die alone on the street/ woods in the cold. Remember, God's tests come in all forms. Lead with love not hate.
Celia S April 04, 2012 at 04:48 AM
: )
ryan April 04, 2012 at 09:27 AM
Its easy for people to say oh people make a choice well there is a lot more to that but I think Toms River Municipal doesn't want the issue of homeless shelters brought to the forefront and I happen to know this first hand from someone who runs a non profit in TR they said that TR Municipal funds them but every time they bring up the issue of there being no homeless shelter in TR the TR Municipal threatens to stop funding their non profit. I think it a matter of TR not wanting to admit that they have a homeless problem. It obviously is a not a money thing because TR has no problem building softball fields, domes for track, solar panels on schools , arena and yes a new dog shelter and I sure I left out a lot. May I add that people are such hypocrites when it comes to the homeless everybody claims to support the needy but not when its near my home I don't know how you can call yourself a Christian if you share this view. I have acres of township land behind my development that runs along Fisher Blvd and would be fine with them building a homeless shelter.
ryan April 04, 2012 at 09:44 AM
So true


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