Burlington County Freeholder Calls Homelessness Unacceptable

NJ Counts 2014 Data Helps Make the Case

Freeholder Director Bruce GarganioThe results of NJ Counts 2014 are helping to make the case for ending homelessness at the local level. A June 11, 2014 article in the Burlington County Times, “Freeholder: Homeless Figures ‘Under No Circumstance Acceptable.”

“In the wake of a new report that revealed an increase in the local homeless population, Burlington County Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio vowed to maintain the county’s commitment to addressing the issue.”

“’As a county, we can and we must continue to do better to end the vicious cycle that has far too many children growing up in motels, forced to switch school districts each time they relocate and lacking the support and stability necessary for success.”

Said Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio.

According to NJ Counts 2014, Burlington County had 1,660 homeless individuals in 931 households, or 12% of the total state homeless population. This reflects a 147% increase of 989 individuals from the 2013 count.

“These figures are under no circumstance acceptable,” said Garganio. He added that the numbers need to be put in perspective, noting that most people categorized as homeless are in temporary housing and “only 21 are truly without shelter.”

Burlington County began its 10 year planning process to end homelessness in 2012 and its success to date includes reallocating funding for a rapid re-housing program and creating new affordable housing.

“’Still, the point-in-time count numbers remind us that our efforts are not enough, and I refuse to let us be in the same position a year from now,’ he said, calling on the state to issue a ‘necessary voucher’ to shift grant funding toward permanent housing and away from the use of motels as temporary housing options.”

Said Freeholder Director Garganio.

Although Burlington County is making significant progress with their rapid re-housing initiative, we agree with Freeholder Director Garganio that we all need to do more. To view our list of best practices to end homelessness click here.

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