Falls Nationwide But Increases Locally
On November 25, 2015, the Burlington County Times reported that the “Homeless population rises in Burlington County, falls nationwide.”
A recent U.S. Housing and Urban Development annual report cites an 11% decrease in homelessness in the U.S. since 2007 and a 2% decrease in homelessness over the past 12 month.
Yet in Burlington County, the number of homeless individuals increased from 1,020 to 1,346 over the past year. Most of these individuals lived in shelters with only 8 living on the streets or in their cars.
As part of the statewide NJCounts 2016, the next point-in-time count of the homeless will take place on Wednesday, January 27, 2015.
Said Kent Pipes, homeless advocate and president of the Westampton-based Affordable Homes Group, about the County’s homeless population,
“The vast majority are single-parent families. There’s not much out there. You’re essentially asking people to go on a wild goose chase.”
“Pipes attributes the rise in homeless numbers to two factors. ‘Some of this increase is because we’ve gotten better at counting people,’ he said. ‘It’s also about the state of the economy and the home foreclosures.’”
The results of the annual NJCounts assists local communities in planning to end homelessness in their counties.
“The county is also in the middle of carrying out its ‘10-Year Plan to End Homelessness,’ which emphasizes shifting funds earmarked for emergency housing toward permanent living situations and rapid-rehousing programs.”
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