10,211 Homeless Counted by NJCounts

NJCounts ChangeOn June 16, 2015, the release of NJCounts 2015 garnered news stories from print and radio media across the state.

NJCounts 2015 found 10,211 homeless men, women and children across the state of New Jersey. This showed a decrease of 1,645 persons (13.9%) from 2014.

While the decrease shows progress, the count still shows the critical need for voucher and homeless assistance funding.

In Bergen County, The Record reported on June 16, 2015 that the County has seen a decrease in homelessness.

“Bergen County’s decline showed that the ‘huge focus on putting people in permanent housing’ — the model on which the Bergen County shelter operates — is working.”

Said Monarch Housing’s Katelyn Cunningham.

Yet federal funding for permanent housing, including the Housing Choice Voucher program, is at risk. Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-9) “criticized” a funding bill for the Housing and Urban Development that passed the House of Representatives on June 9, 2015. It proposes to cut affordable housing funding by $85.6 million to $6.4 billion.

“Instead of making indiscriminate cuts at the expense of the most vulnerable amongst us, we need to be making investments in critical housing programs for low-income Americans and the homeless, including our veterans,” he said.

NJ 101.5 reported that Cunningham says, “Many counties are improving their effort to reduce the homeless population.”

‘They are doing a better street outreach, and are able to count their unsheltered numbers a little bit better. There has been a large push across the state to kind of use some best practices, such as housing first, rapid rehousing, which really focuses on moving households into permanent housing.”

Said Monarch Housing’s Katelyn Cunningham.

On June 16, 2015, the Press of Atlantic City reported that Monarch’s Jay Everett said of Atlantic County’s count, “The data also showed that there was a decrease in the length of time households were without permanent shelter in 2015 in the county.”

“Despite a statewide dip in the number of homeless people, the rate of homelessness in Essex County is apparently on the rise. We still have a very serious problem in Essex County,” Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said at the (homeless outreach February 3, 2015) event. “The economy may have gotten better, but there are still way too many homeless people here.”

Reported the Star Ledger on June 16, 2015.

The Star Ledger also reported that there are:

“A Number of solutions to help address homelessness in New Jersey, including providing an adequate supply of housing vouchers, funding homeless assistance programs and creating jobs that pay a living wage.”

If you know of coverage of NJCounts please let us know.

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