MANCHESTER, Conn. — Bob’s Discount Furniture and fellow Connecticut company Blue Bell Mattress will split the nearly $20,000 cost of providing 54 sets of new mattresses and box springs to those in need in New Jersey. This month, tenants are starting to move into newly constructed affordable apartments built on vacant land at the former Camp Kilmer army base in Edison, N.J. Although most of the 120 apartments will be reserved for disabled veterans and low-income residents selected by lottery, 30 are available for homeless families and individuals. “We greatly appreciate the generosity of Bob’s Discount Furniture and Blue Bell Mattress,” says Richard Brown, CEO of Monarch Housing Associates, a nonprofit housing development organization. “Many of the homeless residents moving in to Kilmer have never had their own apartments. These donated mattresses provide a big help to them as they settle in to their new homes.” Bob’s, a Manchester, Conn.-based Top 100 retailer, and mattress manufacturer Blue Bell delivered the first 27 mattress and box spring sets last week and plan to deliver a second shipment later in the month. The Kilmer Homes development is the result of collaborations between Triple C Housing, Monarch Housing Associates, the Edison Housing Authority, the Alpert Group and various federal, state and local offices. The U.S. Department of Defense donated land for the project and Edison Township agreed to defer property taxes for 15 years. “We are proud to be able to support the ambitious efforts of Edison Township and the broad group of Kilmer partners to address the problem of chronic homelessness in their community,” said Bob Kaufman, president emeritus and co-founder of Bob’s Discount Furniture. “A lack of affordable housing is one of the main causes of homelessness nationwide,” said Mark Kolovson, president of Blue Bell Mattress. “The Kilmer Homes project shows that by working together and being willing to try new approaches, we can make a real difference in reducing, and ultimately eliminating homelessness.”
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