“It is still uncertain how many people would ultimately need housing, temporary or otherwise. In New Jersey alone, over 5,000 people remain in shelters and tens of thousands who evacuated their homes now reside with relatives and friends. Those with no homes to return to will have to find a new place to live.
‘We lost a lot of housing here in New Jersey,’ Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security secretary, said in Hoboken with Gov. Chris Christie. ‘We don’t even know yet which houses are reparable.’”
These 5,000 newly, while maybe only temporarily, homeless are added to the ranks of the 11,721 men, women and children men, women and children who were counted as homeless on January 25, 2012 through the annual point in tome count.
This weekend, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) began providing free hotel rooms to those made homeless because of Hurricane Sandy.
These households are being moved out of emergency shelters to the hotel rooms for up to two weeks. But then what? Will they crowd the existing emergency shelter system? Or move to more permanent housing?
While no one would argue that those displaced from the storm deserve shelter and housing, what more could our federal government do for those who were homeless before the storm and will remain so afterwards?