Bergen and Other Counties Work through NJCounts 2019 Gather More Accurate Data on Homeless Youth

Pictured are volunteers from Trenton and Mercer County from the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK)

Reporters Covering NJCounts 2019 See and Hear How Hard it is to Afford Housing in NJ

On January 23, 2019, the New Jersey Record reported “Bergen County sweeps Garden State Plaza, Bergen Community College for homeless youth data.” The article reports on Bergen County’s Department of Human Services’ effort this year to for the first time get a better handle on the number of homeless youth in the County with the goal of ending youth homelessness.

“Communities across New Jersey are trying a variety of methods to gather accurate data on youth homelessness, said Jay Everett, an associate at Monarch Housing Associates, the coordinator of the statewide Point-in-Time count. Some counties ask additional questions while conducting the count; others target specific locations.”

 Everet explained the importance of using NJCounts 2019 to get an accurate count of youth experiencing homelessness in New Jersey.

“The fact of the matter is that the evidence in some of our data shows that there is an increasing issue of tenuously housed or homeless youth, but in some cases the data is difficult to gather accurately,” Everett said. “Getting a better handle on information is critical for discerning where and what help can be provided.  Bergen County’s youth survey is not necessarily unique but is on the cutting edge of methodologies being used to reach a tough-to-reach population, he said.”

 

On January 23, 2019, Northjersey.com shared this photo captioned “Volunteers gather at the Bergen County Human Services Center in Hackensack on Wednesday, January 23.”

On January 24, 2019, The Asbury Park Press reported “Homeless: It’s very hard to live in NJ if you don’t make a certain level of money.” Bill Mills, experiencing homelessness in Lakewood told the paper,

“It’s very hard to live in New Jersey if you don’t make a certain level of money,” said Mills, 51.  “It’s really hard financially to get out of this situation. It’s really easy to get into it. But it’s hard to get out of it.”

The Asbury Park Press covered NJCounts 2019 in Bergen, Monmouth, Middlesex, Ocean, Passaic and Somerset Counties.

In Bergen County,

“Paul Nickels, a volunteer who knows what it’s like to live on the streets, said there were way more homeless folks near the creek last year. He said at this time last year, the creek’s water level was much higher than it is currently.”

Nickels was talking about five men who slept outside in Palisades Park on the night of January 23.

In Monmouth County, June Nichols, who along with her fiancée is homeless, experiences New Jersey’s housing affordability crisis first hand.

“But for now, they don’t have the funds to afford housing. June said she could afford about $500 a month for rent — if such a place existed. She’s been working with homeless advocates to find stable housing, but expressed frustration with the process.”

On January 24, 2019, the New Jersey Herald reported “Annual effort seeks to tally county’s homeless.” The article focuses on NJCounts in Sussex County. “We have a multi-pronged approach as to how we obtain the count,” said Christine Florio, director of the Sussex County Division of Community and Youth Services.

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