100-Day EHV Challenge

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The Need

On January 26, 2021, New Jersey identified 8,097 men, women and children experiencing homelessness across the state on a single night. Since 2020, we have faced a global pandemic which has highlighted the critical importance of a place to call home. While communities across the state have been working tirelessly to advance strategies to end homelessness, they have struggled to navigate insufficient resources, challenging program regulations, siloed systems, and other challenges. In the face of a continuing world-wide health crisis, re-energizing strategies to end homelessness have become even more critical.

The Opportunity

On May 5, 2021 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published regulations for the new Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) Program established through the American Rescue Plan. Communities across the country have access to 70,000 housing choice vouchers administered by local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to assist families. The State of New Jersey PHA within the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has been awarded 996 vouchers to be used in coordination with Continuums of Care (CoC) across the state. These vouchers provide an opportunity for CoCs to move one step closer to ending homelessness.

The Challenge

On August 1, 2021 Monarch Housing Associates launched the 100-Day EHV challenge to connect 100 households to the DCA-EHV program. Connecting households experiencing homelessness to permanent housing voucher opportunities can be difficult as individuals and agencies work to navigate the nuanced application process and eligibility requirements. Monarch Housing Associates is sponsoring this 100-Day EHV Challenge to support communities in creating system efficiencies designed to expedite connections to housing and supports for persons experiencing homelessness.

The Communities

On August 1, 2021 eight (8) communities across New Jersey joined the 100-Day EHV Challenge.  The CoC Leadership, in partnership with the Coordinated Entry agencies within the following communities took this first bold step:

  • Atlantic County CoC
  • Hudson County CoC
  • Mercer County CoC
  • Middlesex County CoC
  • Monmouth County CoC
  • Morris County CoC
  • Ocean County CoC
  • Tri-County CoC (Warren, Hunterdon & Sussex Counties)

 

Each community will work to submit 100 applications to the DCA-EHV program in 100 days.  Collectively the Cohort will submit 800 applications to the program by November 8, 2021

100-Day EHV Challenge Progress

Cohort Collective Goal 800apps submitted
Cohort Total 541apps submitted
Middlesex County CoC 149apps submitted
Monmouth County CoC 100apps submitted
Ocean County CoC 53apps submitted
Mercer County CoC 63apps submitted
Morris County CoC 54apps submitted
Atlantic County CoC 36apps submitted
Hudson County CoC 35apps submitted
Tri-County CoC 29apps submitted

Community Profiles

Situated at the southern end of New Jersey, Atlantic County is comprised of 23 municipalities largely rural in nature outside of the urban center of Atlantic City and the surrounding suburbs. The economic base in the area is largely dependent on tourism and the Atlantic City casinos. The 2021 Point-in-Time Count identified 326 people experiencing homelessness on a single night on January 26, 2021. The trend over the previous 5 years identified people experiencing homelessness fluctuating between 420 and 470 persons. This year, a 30% drop in the number of people identified is promising. However, various factors due to Covid-19 pandemic may have affected the count.

 

The homeless service system in Atlantic County includes the following:

 

  • Coordinated Entry – operated as single point of entry administered by Jewish Family Services in partnership with the Atlantic County Division of Family and Child Development (welfare). The single point of entry completes assessments for all persons experiencing homelessness and provides referrals to services and housing opportunities in the community.
  • 2 primary outreach teams (focus on those with mental health issues and those returning from Jail/Prison)
  • 6 year-round shelters and 2 seasonal/eligibility-based shelters
  • 3 transitional housing programs
  • 4 Rapid ReHousing Programs
  • 9 Permanent Supportive Housing Programs

 

Upon joining the 100-Day EHV challenge, Atlantic County identified:

 

  • 241 persons experiencing homelessness
  • About 56% (135 people) are sheltered and 43% (106 people) are unsheltered
  • Priority populations targeted for the challenge include:
    • Chronically Homeless
    • Survivors of Domestic Violence
    • Families

Hudson County is the smallest County in New Jersey with regards to geographic boundaries, but the most densely populated county in the state. Hudson is one of the fastest growing counties in New Jersey and the 4th most populated with 12 municipalities. Primarily urban in nature, the County has great economic diversity and racial/ethnic diversity where 43% of county residents are foreign born and median household incomes range from $60,000 – $100,000 according to the area of the county you are in. The 2021 Point-in-Time count identified 882 people experiencing homelessness on a single night, January 26, 2021.

 

The homeless service system in Hudson County includes the following:

 

  • Coordinated Entry – operated by a single agency, Garden State Episcopal CDC, the coordinated entry system provides assessment and referral for all persons experiencing homelessness. Garden State conducts initial assessments in the community and refers persons to services, shelter and permanent housing as available.
  • 3 outreach programs
  • 5 drop-in centers
  • 8 year-round emergency shelters
  • 4 seasonal shelters and motel placement programs
  • 5 transitional housing programs
  • 7 Rapid ReHousing Programs
  • 15 Permanent Supportive Housing Programs

 

Upon joining the 100-Day EHV challenge, Hudson County identified:

 

  • 638 persons experiencing homelessness
  • Priority populations targeted for the challenge include:
    • Literally Homeless
    • Survivors of Domestic Violence
    • At-Risk of Homelessness

Mercer County is located in central New Jersey and home to the state capital, Trenton.  With 12 municipalities, the county is a mix of suburban, rural, and city life. Mercer County is also known internationally for its college town, Princeton, which is ranked among the top 20 best places to live nationwide. The 2021 Point-in-Time count identified 393 people experiencing homelessness on a single night, January 26, 2021, Mercer’s lowest number in recent years.

Middlesex County is among the more populous counties in the state and considered a major metropolitan area. It boasts some major employers/companies like Rutgers University, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Johnson & Johnson to name a few. Middlesex has 25 municipalities with a high concentration of the population in the townships of Edison and Woodbridge. The 2021 Point-in-Time count identified 629 people experiencing homelessness on a single night, January 26, 2021.

 

Upon joining the 100-Day EHV challenge, Middlesex County identified:

 

  • 469 persons experiencing homelessness
  • About 81% (381 persons) sheltered and 18% (88 persons) unsheltered
  • Priority populations targeted for the challenge include:
    • Chronically Homeless
    • Covid-19 Vulnerable Homeless
    • At-Risk of Homelessness

Monmouth County is located right in the center of the state. The Jersey Shore starts with Monmouth County’s eastern coastline. Many of Monmouth’s 53 municipalities are relatively small and packed tightly along the coastline. The 2021 Point-in-Time count identified 322 people experiencing homelessness on a single night, January 26, 2021.

 

Upon joining the 100-Day EHV challenge, Monmouth County identified:

 

  • 474 persons experiencing homelessness
  • About 28% (135 persons) sheltered and 13% (64 persons) unsheltered
  • Priority population targeted for the challenge include:
    • Waitlisted households

Morris County is locked in by seven other counties. It is situated in northern New Jersey, but it does not touch any state borderlines unlike most of the other counties. Morris is divided into 39 municipalities. It is also among the highest earning counties in not only the state but the country with a median household income of $77,340. The 2021 Point-in-Time count identified 268 people experiencing homelessness on a single night, January 26, 2021 which is the lowest number in recent years.

 

Upon joining the 100-Day EHV challenge, Morris County identified:

 

  • 7 persons experiencing homelessness
  • 100% (7 persons) sheltered and 0% (0 persons) unsheltered

Ocean County takes up the greatest amount of the Jersey shoreline than any other county in the state. It is comprised of 33 municipalities and includes popular beach destinations like Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant Beach. The 2021 Point-in-Time count identified 366 people experiencing homelessness on a single night, January 26, 2021.

 

 

Upon joining the 100-Day EHV challenge, Ocean County identified:

 

  • 13 persons experiencing homelessness
  • 100% (13 persons) sheltered and 0% (0 persons) unsheltered

Tri-County is comprised of three northwestern counties along the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Sussex, Warren, and Hunterdon. The 2021 Point-in-Time Count identified 229 people experiencing homelessness on a single night on January 26, 2021.

 

 

Upon joining the 100-Day EHV challenge, Tri- County identified:

 

  • 336 persons experiencing homelessness
  • About 6% (20 persons) sheltered and 6% (20 persons) unsheltered
  • Priority population targeted for the challenge include:
    • Chronically Homeless

CONTACTS

Nadine Azari, 908-337-0237 (cell)

Taiisa Kelly, 973-768-2595 (cell)

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