Is Homelessness Better or Worse in New Jersey?

Majority of State’s Homeless are Sheltered

Is Homelessness Better or Worse in NJ?On September 29, 2014, NJ Spotlight highlighted the results of the 2014 NJ Counts survey, the annual point in time count of the homeless which was coordinated by Monarch Housing.

The 13,900 homeless individuals counted on January 28, 2014 lived on the streets, in shelters and in motels.

An interview by Alan Tu of WHYY with NJ Spotlight’s Hank Kalet helped put the 2014 numbers into perspective. Kalet covered the NJ Counts 2014 results for NJ Spotlight.

“The figure of 13,900 is lower than it was in 2007 when the nation slipped into recession but still much higher than the precession figure of 8,296. Going back the last five years, the numbers have been relative stable” but it is “difficult” to explain this stability and it can’t be attributed to a specific program.

Less than 1,000 of the homeless individuals counted in 2014 lived on the streets and Kalet explained that the “count includes people living in motels because many counties use motels as motel shelters.” He said that the homeless individuals who have a temporary roof over their heads “make up the bulk of people considered homeless right now.”

Said Kalet.

He then walked listeners through the methodology that Monarch Housing used in conducting NJ Counts 2014.

Governor Christie’s is expected to release his 10 year plan to end homelessness in New Jersey next year. Christie appointed an interagency council that is looking at “all programs and services” and “bringing together the private and public sector.” Their draft plan is due to the Governor at the end of this year. Monarch Housing published an op-ed earlier this year calling for the plan to be completed immediately.

Christie also appointed a specific task force to address homelessness in Atlantic City. The task force has implemented a “single intake process in Atlantic City and is engaging both private and public partners.”

Click here for a link to the article

Click here for the WHYY interview.

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