Homelessness Rose Last Year
The encampment is located under the Ackerman Avenue Bridge over the Passaic River on the border with Garfield.
About a dozen adults have made their home under the overpass of Route 21 at Ackerman Avenue, complete with mattresses, wall hangings and a pet cat among piles of trash, debris and empty liquor bottles.
The issue of the unsheltered homeless in New Jersey is not isolated to Clifton. While the statewide homeless population declined by 1,600 from 2014 to last year, the number of individuals living without shelter continues to be a problem.
“… This encampment signifies a stubborn reality of the effort to shelter the homeless temporarily or permanently.”
“The number of folks experiencing an un-sheltered location who are staying in a place not meant for human habitation did increase slightly between 2014 and 2015. From 934 counted at 2014’s point in time and it increased to 974 in 2015.”
Said Jay Everett, associate for Monarch Housing Associates.
City officials have conducted outreach including encouraging the homeless to go to local shelters. The city plans to clean the area of debris and the encampment’s residents’ personal possessions on May 16.