NJ Needs 10 Year Plan for Homeless

Monarch Housing Urges State to
Implement Proven Strategies to End Homelessness

NJ Needs 10 Year Plan for HomelessThe June 27, 2014 Star-Ledger featured an Op-Ed column by Monarch Housing’s Richard W. Brown and Taiisa Kelly.

In the piece Brown and Kelly call on the New Jersey State Interagency Council on Homelessness to “Create a plan that implements a combination of Housing First, Rapid Re-Housing, Coordinated Assessment and prioritization for the homeless by public housing authorities and end homelessness for our 13,900 homeless neighbors.”

Using data from the recent NJ Counts 2014 point in time count of the homeless, they make the case to fund and implement proven strategies to end homelessness including Housing First, Rapid Re-Housing, Coordinated Assessment and prioritization by public housing authorities for the homeless.

NJ Counts 2014 found 13,900 homeless men, women and children across New Jersey on January 28, 2014. This was an increase of 1,898 people, or 15.8 percent over the 2013 count.

Looking across the state, these strategies are already working.

  • Mercer County is decreasing chronic homelessness through Housing First.
  • Atlantic County has created a single point of entry system, which provides coordinated assessment.
  • Partners in Edison, including the local public housing authority are breaking ground on affordable housing which includes prioritization for the homeless.

These proven strategies include:

  • Adopting “Housing First” as a state policy;
  • Creating a “Rapid Re-Housing” reimbursement rate for boards of social services;
  • Supporting local efforts to create coordinated assessment systems;
  • Setting a priority for homelessness with the State Public Housing Authority;
  • Encouraging the same from local public housing authorities.

New Jersey should create a plan that implements a combination of Housing First, Rapid Re-Housing, Coordinated Assessment and prioritization for the homeless by public housing authorities and end homelessness for our 13,900 homeless neighbors.

Is the conclusion to the op-ed.

Click here for a link to the full op-ed.

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