TOMS RIVER– Newly appointed Ocean County Freeholder Virginia “Ginny” Haines said one of her main goals as a freeholder is to work on the problems of poverty and homelessness in the county. Haines took office just over a week after a high profile incident involving a homeless man in Lakewood made international headlines when he was ridiculed into pouring coffee on his head for $5, bringing the plight of the county’s homeless problem back into the political spotlight.
On Thursday, Haines sat down with Jeremy Grunin on his “Wake Up With Jeremy” program on WOBM talk radio 1160.
“I don’t know if we can 100% solve the poverty issue, because it has always been around, but it’s on the forefront of everybody’s mind,” Haines said. “I am going to be meeting with all of the department heads I am assigned to because I want to talk to them.”
She added that she needs to take inventory of what services the county offers and to look at the possibility of bringing in new ones.
“What are the programs? How are they working, what can we do to make them better,” she said. ” I want to check with other areas of the state to see what they have that we don’t have. Maybe we tried them, maybe we haven’t”
“It’s important for me as a Freeholder to get to know all of the departments that I have,” she added. “To get to know them, get to know what we’re doing. Maybe I can come up with some new ways we can help individuals to help them with the poverty issue and homeless issues.”
Haines said after Hurricane Sandy there were few options for displaced individuals and many had to leave the county.
“The freeholders have done everything they could do to combat this,” she said. “If we could, it would be a miracle for us to prevent poverty 100%.”
Haines will be the board’s liaison to the Department of Human Services, Board of Social Services, Transportation and the Planning Board.
“What are the other guys doing?” Grunin joked to Haines. “They gave you all the meat. They’re all high-fiving that Ginny is on board. Once you get those things tackled, give us a holler and we’ll give you some more things to talk about.”
Under Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Haines was appointed as the New Jersey State Lottery Commissioner.
She is also a national GOP committeewoman.
According to the GOP website:
Ginny Haines was elected as the National Committeewoman from New Jersey in June of 2004. She serves on the RNC Site-Selection Committee, the Rules Committee, the Ethics Committee, and was recently elected as the Co-Chair of the RNC Northeast Region. Ms. Haines also served on the Contests Committee and was Vice-Chair of the Credentials Committee at the 2012 Republican National Convention. She has attended six Republican National Conventions and was the Co-Chairman of Housing for the New Jersey Republican National Convention in 1988.
Ms. Haines is politically active as a member of the NJ Federation of Republican Women, a parliamentarian for the Toms River Republican Organization, a member of the Ocean County Federation of Republican Women and she serves on the County Committee District 9 Toms River TWP. She is also active in her community and serves on the board of directors of the Toms River Student Loan Fund, on the executive board and treasurer of the Ocean County College Foundation Board, on the Board of Directors of the Monmouth-Ocean Food Bank, and on the advisory boards of the Jersey Shore Girl Scouts and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Ocean County. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Toms River, the Commissioner of the Toms River Municipal Utilities Authority, she serves on the executive board of the Jersey Shore Council of Boy Scouts and as the Republican State Committeewoman for Ocean County.
Previously, Ms. Haines served as a State Assemblywoman, the Assistant Majority Whip, the clerk for the New Jersey General Assembly, and the Executive Director of the NJ State Lottery among many other positions.