TOMS RIVER, NJ – A Toms River Township sexual assault and criminal defense attorney Terrance Turnbach, who also happens to be a township councilman is on a mission to build a homeless shelter in Ocean County and he’s going to be cosplaying a homeless person for one night. Turnbach is hoping to set up a one-night faux-homeless encampment and has asked others to join him.
Turnbach, who lives in the posh Cranmoor Manor section of Toms River has not just one home, but according to a public records search, two homes valued by Zillow at a combined $1,000,000 is going to sleep outside Toms River Town Hall Saturday night in solidarity with the area’s homeless population. Turnbach will for one night roleplay a homeless man. It’s a big jump from his day to day life of suits and ties defending criminal court cases.
Turnbach challenged the Ocean County Board of Commissioners to join him, so far, it appears they don’t share in Turbach’s political theatrics as none have offered to pull up a sleeping back alongside him as of yet…or at least haven’t run to the press with a press release in hand about it.
Why is he going to sleep outside in the cold? Turnbach says it’s to rally support to build a homeless shelter in Ocean County. While Turnbach has two homes, he’s willing to put his life on the line for those out there with no homes. So far, Turnbach has been met with resistance by the county, which doesn’t want to get into the business of having to build, staff, and operate a homeless shelter. The county has always supported private efforts to care for the needy.
Who knows, maybe this is Turnbach’s campaign launch for his re-election bid? Maybe he’ll run for commissioner?
In 2018, Toms River Township purchased the large former Red Roof Inn Hotel property for $3.3 million. The township then spent another $300,000 to demolish the hotel because it was a frequent haven for drug dealers, prostitutes, and criminals, the very people that Turnbach represents. The structure could have been used by the township to serve as a makeshift homeless shelter, featuring rooms to house over 50 homeless families. Instead, Turnbach supported its demolition to pave the way for commercial developers. Many of the former tenants of that hotel ended up…well, homeless.
This really should be seen as a signal, not only for the revitalization of our downtown, but for any business in town, that the township isn’t going to put up with any nuisance hotels or businesses,” Turnbach said at the time. “Not only are we serious about revitalization, but we are serious about the safety of our residents.”
If you want to join Turnbach in his weekend homeless cosplay, he will kick off his latest adventure at 4:30 pm.