NJCounts 2016, the January 27, 2016 statewide point-in-time count of the homeless, continues to earn attention from the press across New Jersey.
All twenty-one counties participated in NJ Counts 2016 and conducted counts of the homeless on January 27, 2016. The count’s results will continue to guide efforts to end homelessness across the state.
Networks of organizations, agencies and others that plan community efforts to end homelessness coordinate the local counts and many counties held simultaneous Homeless Connect events to provide assistance to the homeless individuals and families.
“People I spoke with who are currently homeless said its due to fewer housing vouchers for families in need leaving people on the street.”
In Ocean County, New Jersey 101.5 reported that organizers worried that the conditions left behind from the recent blizzard would hamper the NJCounts 2016 effort. Judith Weippert, chairperson of the Tom River Community Church’s Missions Committee said of the homeless individuals surveyed,
“We ask them what kind of funds they get, if they’re subsidized in any way at all, their age, how long they’ve been homeless, things like that.”
“… Officials said, because people may not be visibly living on the street does not mean residents don’t need help.‘When we have a great turnout like this,’ motioning to the crowd of at least 100 people around midday, ‘that’s great news. But the bad news is there’s that many people who are at that point in their lives where they need to find some kind of assistance.’”
In South Jersey, the Courier-Post reported on a trend of a younger homeless population living in encampments. Michael Allen, 23 and of Woodbury, “said he has been living on the streets for six months, since he ‘got kicked out’ and was turned down for assistance twice in Gloucester County.”
Mycentralnj.comreported that New Jersey needs increased federal funding to assist homeless individuals and families.
“Taiisa Kelly, a senior associate with Monarch Housing, says Congress must fund more housing vouchers and homeless services. ‘Fewer housing vouchers means that very low-income individuals and families live on the brink of homelessness.”