MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A North Jersey man was honored by New Jersey officials this week for more than 20 years of service helping homeless people and recovering addicts.

New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie awarded Market Street Mission Executive Director David Scott with the New Jersey Hero award earlier this week. Scott is the 39th person to receive this honor.

Scott, who has run Market Street Mission for 26 years, said that his primary goal is to get people to open up — a crucial step for recovering drug addicts. 

“If I tell you about my problems you run from me. You don’t want to hear it,” Scott said. “But when guys come into the mission, part of what happens is they share. I’m involved with addiction. They admit that they have a problem and that’s the first step.”

Scott said the mission has helped over a thousand people with shelter, food and training to help increase productivity.

Governor Chris Christie also attended the event, said that rehab is much more helpful than jail.

“Everyone deserves a second chance, or more, to make things right in their life,” Christie said.