Mental Health Official Goes Undercover as Homeless Man in Dover Woods

West Caldwell's Robert Davison posed as a homeless man for 51 hours at Dover Woods in Toms River, kept journal describing dangerous and chaotic conditions.

Robert Davison, director of the Montclair-based Mental Health Association of Essex County, went undercover last month, posing as a homeless man in order to gain admittance to Dover Woods, a state-licensed residential health care facility in Toms River. 

During his 51-hour stay at Dover Woods, Davison, a resident of West Caldwell, kept a journal of his experiences, which included breaking up a fight, turning down oral sex for money and witnessing a disoriented resident leave the facility and wander out onto an adjacent highway. The facility sits on the border of Toms River at the intersection of Routes 9 and 70.

His story is described in detail in this NJ.com article, which ran on Sunday. 

Davison writes a .

mamichula April 23, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Thanks Robert,we need more people like you who really care about others.
dave April 24, 2012 at 12:48 AM
we stopped and brought some food to them one day,very sad,i felt good that we helped a few of them,alot of people live there,this should'nt be in this day and age.
Rick Molinia April 24, 2012 at 03:00 AM
good job brother!... i often shop @ the local Stop&Shop and 9 out of 10 visits, i am approached by an elderly cracked out woman/man begging for $$$... Plus trying to avoid them as they CROSS the road (Vehicular Homocide) is like a video game..
Shelly April 24, 2012 at 03:50 AM
National attention should be brought to that place, the way Geraldo Rivera exposed Willowbrook 35 years ago. It's a disgrace how those people are treated. Somebody call 60 Minutes or 20/20.
Sara Stewart April 24, 2012 at 08:49 PM
May God bless Robert Davison for his efforts in exposing this horrible place. I urge everyone to follow the link to nj.com and read the full story. The State of NJ has an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality about the most vulnerable in our society. It reminds me of the situation about a year ago here in Toms River, when fire killed one of the residents of the so-called halfway house on Rt. 9. In that case also there was insufficient regulation by the state of a company that was supposed to be helping people but instead just warehoused them.
daria marino August 07, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Well Robert I guess all your trouble was in vain.What was the end result?Nothing has changed according to the recent article in the asbury park press.Also why has no one helped the poor souls that live at the lexinton in lakewood,It makes the Dover look like the Ritz.Same ol bull and nothing ever happens to really help these people and the rich owners get richer at the expense of the poor mentally ill!
JerseyShore4Ever August 09, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of their control, my uncle and 10 others have been forced to live at this facility since March after the disgusting, bed bug infested boarding home they were living in was shut down by the state. They were given HALF AN HOUR notice to pack up their belongings before being bused to Dover Woods. I used to have a hard time believing the horror stories he tells me however after reading this article I will never doubt him again. On another note, I've been trying for WEEKS get someone employeed by the state to help me help him change his living enviroment . I am so frustrated!! I really dont know what else to do.
Anonymous August 21, 2012 at 10:55 PM
I am a former resident of Dover Woods and I can tell you first hand that the things Mr. Davidson wrote about that place are absolutely true. The staff who work there don't care about the residents at all and basically let them do whatever they want. When I lived there the place was infested with bed bugs, the food was often cold not properly cook and often had mold on the bread. There was residents always fighting, drug and alcohol activities going on constantly. Staff always screaming at the residents. I could go on about all the things that go on at Dover Woods but I won't at this time. I strongly believe that Dover Woods needs to be shut down or taken over by people who care about the residents and who could clean up the place. To me Dover Woods is nothing but a Hell Hole.
Annonymous September 11, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Rob Davison, You just want some more money for low rate housing yourself! Boy oh boy, all you Politicians are all the same!
Annonymous September 11, 2012 at 09:13 PM
yeah he cares alright. he cares about getting richer and lying. he should be ashamed of himself and come clean about his real intentions.
matt January 04, 2013 at 10:47 PM
rob davidson is the head of a psychiatric what? then he should be the first person who must understand how these people in doverwoods behave! if he expected residents to be quiet as a mouse then he should have gone to ramada inn. u guys should understand that these people r mentally ill and whatever u do they will behave unsually. y do u think their own family dumped them? because they would not take care of them themselves. And staff in doverwoods r humans too. sometimes they have to yell back too. what would u do if u get yelled at? not all he time u could hold back right?
Sherri Karol March 08, 2014 at 12:23 AM
Wow just came across this article . I can't belive some of the comments.expecally coming from dara. Wow how rude but ill be nice cause I know where you work and some of your clients don't take care ofthemselves . Actions speaks louder the words


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