NEWARK, NJ (CBSNewYork) – Former New Jersey Governor and current State Senator Dick Codey shed his suit and slipped into a dirty hooded sweatshirt to go undercover at a homeless shelter.

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He wore a fake beard, phony tattoos, and had a makeup artist make his teeth look tobacco-stained and his face as worn as old leather.

Looking every bit down-and-out, Codey spent Monday night at the Goodwill Mission in Newark.

He slept in a room with 20 other men.

The Senator said his four-month probe revealed a broken system in which shelters don’t want to help the mentally ill and those not receiving public assistance.

“If you’re a male and you’re not on the government program your odds of getting any kind of shelter at night are almost zero, “Codey told 1010 WINS.

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When he went undercover, Codey said he received a small bed roll — about an inch thick — and a thin blanket.

“Then you’re told, ‘Lie down on the floor and go to sleep,'” Codey said. “I think people deserve more dignity in life than what I saw.”

The Goodwill Mission denies those allegations and the director actually applauds the Senator’s efforts.

Codey says this wasn’t about scoring political points, but was about shedding a light on the forgotten.

This isn’t the first time Codey has done something like this. Years ago, he went undercover and spent the night in a mental hospital.

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