Current Employment Picture May Will Most Likely Increase Numbers Seeing Assistance
On July 11, 2012, the Philadelphia Inquirer highlighted the trend that southern New Jersey cities like Atlantic City and Camden are seeing – homeless individuals flocking to the shelters, soup kitchens and social services that their counties and towns lack.
According to Bill Southrey, President of the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, only about a third of the 700 individuals the agency serves every day are from Atlantic City. Many homeless individuals end up in the city after receiving bus fare assistance because they are not able to access services where they live.
Unfortunately, the situation in Atlantic City and Camden is likely to get worse.
“And officials predict numbers could grow, as federal unemployment extensions ran out last week for an estimated 29,000 people. ‘We’re seeing people we’ve never seen before because of unemployment,’ said Ed Smith, superintendent of the Gloucester County Division of Social Services. ‘Unemployment extensions are to run out. We’re holding our breath to see what happens not only for us, but all throughout the state.’”