In Hudson County, “The head of the county Division of Housing & Community Development won’t make any predictions on the Jan. 24 NJCounts 2018 point-in-time homeless count, a state-wide project to gauge as accurately as possible the number of homeless in the county, but her fingers are crossed.”
Hudson County is making strides in decreasing its unsheltered homeless population.
Talking about the hope for the results of NJCounts 2018, “The best would be a decrease in the homeless population from 822 last year. That total was seven less than in 2016 and 120 less than in 2013. And while the number of homeless has decreased, the number of homeless housed in shelters has increased from 455 in 2013 to 608 last year.”
“We are very proud that there are more people in shelters and less on the street,” Randi Moore said.
“NJCounts 2018 showcases local communities’ work to end homelessness by illustrating the depth and breadth of the need for housing resources,” said Taiisa Kelly, senior associate with Monarch Housing, which directs the NJCounts campaign. “Many New Jersey communities make great strides in ending homelessness using a housing-first approach, rapidly re-housing homeless households, and implementing coordinated assessment to strategically prioritize scarce resources.”
“Jay Everett says one goal is to get an accurate picture of who is experiencing homelessness in our communities on a single point in time. He says the count is not only good for helping plan locally around what the needs are and how to target resources, but the count is also a federal requirement in order for communities to bring in McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance funds, which is federal money for homeless shelter programs.” New Jersey received a total of almost $46 million in federal homeless assistance funding for fiscal year 2017.
The annual NJCounts 2018 not only updates the data on homelessness in New Jersey but it also raised awareness about homelessness in New Jersey and the work that needs to be done to end it.
“I think it’s really great to see how communities are empowering people to make a difference around the Point-In-Time Count and it’s always a good thing for people to be aware – especially in the cold snap we’ve experienced this winter – how it’s so important to keep a focus on how to serve those of our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness,” he said.