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Gov. Christie Visits Center For Great Expectations To Announce $12 Million Drug Program Boost

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Gov. Chris Christie visited The Center for Great Expectations Oct. 15 to announce a boost in state money for the ‘Mommy & Me’ drug rehab program.

With The Center for Great Expectations as a backdrop, Gov. Chris Christie Oct. 15 announced a $12 million increase for state drug rehabilitation programs similar to the center’s.

The Dellwood Lane center, near the Margaret McLaughlin McCarick Care Center, offers counseling and a home to pregnant homeless women with drug addictions, and offers them a chance to end their addiction while staying with their children.

According to the center’s mission statement, the center “seeks to form a partnership with homeless pregnant women in creating a safe place, a safe presence and a safe path so that they may complete a healthy pregnancy, choose the next right step and follow through on their plan.”

The women in the center “are an inspiration to me,” Christie said. “I commend the women for facing their addictions and taking the next step to deal with this disease. And it is a disease.”

Christie spent some time with several of the center’s residents as they told them their stories and what the center meant to them. After each one finished, Christie smiled, nodded his head and said, “That’s great.”

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Christie spent some time with residents of the program to hear their stories.

“This is a really, really special place and a great program that was many years in the planning,” Christie said of the center. “It takes some very special people to be able to commit their lives to help others restore their own.”

In announcing the additional $12 million to the state’s “Mommy and Me” program, Christie said, “(w)e have to make the investment in time and in resources” to deal with drug addiction.

The $12 million, he said, “will build on the great work we’re already doing.”

“I remain committed to hearing people tell their stories,” Christie said. “we will help promote treatment for more people to help them rebuild their lives.”

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Peg Wright, the center’s founder and president, called the governor’s support of the program “unprecedented.”

Peg Wright, the center’s president and founder, credited her staff for the program’s success.

“At the end of the day, it is the staff that makes the program what it is,” she said.

To the governor, she said, “your platform and your support has been unprecedented.”

“We will expand this, we will kill the stigma and we ail persevere,” she said.

Allison Blake, commissioner of the state Department of Children and Families, said the Mommy & Me program helps families.

“By insuring the well-being of the mother, we are helping to insure the well-being of the family,” she said.

Through the program, she said, “New Jersey demonstrates its ongoing commitment to families who need to stay together and stay strong.”

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