August 23, 2023

City of Hoboken launches Fresh Start program providing essential support to individuals experiencing homelessness

The City of Hoboken today announced the launch of the seasonal Fresh Start program, which aims to enhance the lives of individuals experiencing homelessness. Spearheaded by the City’s social workers and the Office of Constituent Services, the initiative helps supply some fundamental needs to those without homes that encompasses hygiene, grooming, clothing, and sustenance.

As communities across the country grapple with providing support to the unhoused, Hoboken’s Fresh Start Program is a proactive response to alleviate some of the hardships vulnerable individuals may face. The program offers a safe and welcoming space where participants can access much-needed resources including shower trailers, haircuts, clean clothing, nutritious sandwiches, and connection to vital services.

Through a partnership with Archangel Raphael's Mission, Street Life Ministry, Markdaniel Barbershop, and the W Hoboken, the City provided 11 individuals with haircuts and 17 with showers, hygiene care packets, clothing, food, and more on Aug. 21.  

"Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and the opportunity for a fresh start," said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. "Our goal with this initiative is to provide not only basic amenities but also a renewed sense of self-worth and hope for a better future. We know that homelessness is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted approach, which is why the new initiative aims to help address both the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness while also connecting them to long-term services. Thank you to our local businesses and non-nonprofits for partnering with us on this initiative.”

Key features of the Fresh Start program include:

  • Hygiene and Showers: Access to clean and private shower facilities, promoting personal hygiene and overall well-being.
  • Grooming Services: Certified hairdressers provide haircuts and grooming, enhancing self-esteem.
  • Clothing Boutique: A selection of clean, new or like-new items donated by City staff were made available, allowing participants to choose clothing that suits their preferences and needs.
  • Nutritious Meals: Nutrient-rich food is offered, ensuring that participants receive an essential meal.  

For further information about the Fresh Start program, please contact Hoboken social workers Lori Hetzel at and Bianca Hoffer at  

To learn more about how Hoboken’s social workers can help residents in need, go to  

To learn more about Archangel Raphael’s Mission, the first and largest mobile hygiene provider in the state and their efforts to provide guests with focused hospitality and dignity forward programming, go to  

To learn more about Street Life Ministry Inc., a local non-profit dedicated to providing food, clothing, hygiene products, spiritual guidance/counseling, social service, drug and alcohol referrals, and more to those experiencing homelessness, go to  

The City partnered with several nonprofit organizations and local businesses like Markdaniel Barbershop to offer the new Fresh Start program to provide those experiencing homelessness with showers, haircuts, clean clothing and more.