Interfaith Community Action Network of New Jersey
Mary and Joseph

“No Room at the Inn”







Mary and Joseph

Bethlehem, NJ
(908) 940-1263

Press Release
Thursday, December 16, 2010

Trenton, NJ - Today, Mary and Joseph, joined by leaders of several of New Jersey's religious communities, called on New Jersey's elected representatives to make room at the inn for themselves and hundreds of thousands of struggling New Jersey families.


"Too many municipalities want to stop families like ours from living with them," Joseph said.  "We ask for the Legislature and Governor to ensure that communities have a place for the least among us."


"In many New Jersey towns, Mary and Joseph would definitely not be welcome today - they would just be seen as a bringing a poor child into the school system which would mean property taxes might go up." Rev. Bruce Davidson, Director of the Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministries, said.


"Many carpenters, health care workers, and janitors in our state do not make enough money to afford more than a humble apartment," Rev. Julia Hamilton, Director of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey, said.  "But even when people of faith want to build homes through organizations like Habitat for Humanity, many towns do everything they can to keep people out."


Mary and Joseph prayed with religious leaders, who read parts of the Christmas story from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke in the State House.  In the Christmas tradition of Las Posadas, they walked through the State House asking Assembly and Senate leader to make a room at the inn for all families in New Jersey.  They also sought shelter and prayed at the office of Governor Chris Christie, where they delivered a letter.


"During this Holy Season, it is especially disturbing to hear so much talk about making our housing policies less fair," Cheryl Mrazik, Associate Director of the Romero Center of St. Joseph's Pro-Catheral in Camden said.  "We need to make room for people like Mary and Joseph in our communities, not only at Christmastime, but always."




Contact:  Rev. Julia Hamilton, Director, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey  609-672-7331