Impact of Homelessness
As we celebrate the holiday season, Jersey Journal reporter Michaelangelo Conte writes a series examining homelessness in Hudson County.
Conte not only explores homelessness but also interviews many on the front lines who suggest how to end homelessness.
Quoting from the first article in the series:
“Hunger is on the rise. There are more people living on the edge of homelessness and people are making the horrible decision every day, ‘Do I feed my family or pay my rent?’ Homelessness is relatively stable, but there are more hungry people.”
Said Hoboken Shelter Executive Director Jaclyn Cherubini.
Conte interviewed individuals who make up the “unseen” homeless.
“We walk past homeless people everyday and do not even realize it.”
Said Daniel Altilio, president of the United Way of Hudson County.
And many of Hudson County’s homeless live in transitional housing.
Many individuals choose not to donate to panhandlers believing that the money will most likely be spent on alcohol or drugs. But panhandling actually masks “bigger picture” problems.
“From a sociological point of view, it is better to address the root cause of panhandling. The research says it is usually substance abuse, mental health problems, unemployment, lack of affordable housing.”
Donal Malone, St. Peter’s University sociology department said.
Oftentimes the response to chronic homelessness falls to emergency rooms, public transit staff, and the police.
“We are not going to leave anyone out in the cold who does not have the proper shelter. We take them to the hospital and try to connect them with social services.”
Robert Luckritz director of Emergency Medical Services at the Jersey City Medical Center said.
His series of five articles focuses on the shortage of shelter beds, homeless families live in transitional housing, the ethical and moral dilemma that panhandling poses, the response of emergency rooms and public safety to homelessness.
The series references the 2014 number for Hudson County from NJ Counts 2014, the statewide point in time count of the homeless that took place in every county including Hudson.
As Monarch Housing prepares to coordinate NJ Counts 2015, the updated numbers will be used to consider our advocacy for proven policy solutions such as affordable and supportive housing to homelessness in Hudson County and throughout the state.
Click here for “Too many homeless, too few beds in Hudson County.”
Click here for “Parents and children: The unseen faces of homelessness in Hudson County.”
Click here for “Homeless in Hudson: Do small donations help or hurt panhandlers?”
Click here for “Hudson County authorities say they are compassionate, but firm, with homeless.”
Click here for “Hudson County police, hospitals say they treat homeless with ‘dignity’”