Can New Jersey Learn From This Coordinated Effort?
Even while the city still recovers from Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is on track to meet its goal of ending chronic homelessness by 2015. In parts of New Jersey, work still needs to be done to recover from Superstorm Sandy and the state is not on track to end chronic homelessness.
When New Orleans ends chronic homelessness, it will be the first city to have achieved this. In 2009, New Orleans had a homeless population of 4,579 but by 2013, that number had remarkably dropped to 677. This has been done through the coordinated work of organizations working in the city to end homelessness.
“We are the only community in America where everybody experienced homelessness together nine years ago,” Unity Greater New Orleans Executive Director Martha Kegel told The Times-Picayune.
“It’s a shared experience we all understand in a way we didn’t understand before; how important it is for every human being to have a home and we have a sense of urgency about that. We understand our community will not be recovered from (the storm) until we bring everybody home, until everybody in our community has a home.”