While NJCounts Finds Less Homelessness in New Jersey, Still a Significant Problem
NJCounts 2019 found 8,864 men, women and children experienced homelessness across New Jersey. Since the report was released by Monarch Housing Associates last week, several news organizations have reported on the results.
On August 2, 2019, Fios1 News spoke with Taiisa Kelly, CEO of Monarch Housing Associates. Kelly explained that communities with high levels of homelessness can combat this issue and made a few recommendations on how to this on a few different levels.
First, Kelly suggests that at a local level, these communities must improve the coordinated efforts of organizations serving the homeless population. Second, at the federal level, increased funding should be provided to housing assistance programs and affordable housing development. And lastly, Kelly says, on an individual level, persons experiencing homelessness should find an agency or organization in their communities providing the specific resources needed. To see Fios1 News’ interview with Taiisa Kelly, click here.
Also, on August 2, NJ 101.5’s Dino Flammia also reported on the NJCounts 2019 results. The news story focused on the racial disparities among those experiencing homelessness. Jay Everett, Associate with Monarch Housing’s Ending Homelessness Team, said that “Black and African-American persons are 13% of New Jersey’s populations, and 49% of the homeless population.” Read more from NJ 101.5 here.
On July 31, 2019, NJ Spotlight’s Colleen O’Dea covered the NJCounts 2019 findings. O’Dea writes that while the homeless population in New Jersey as a whole has decreased, nine counties saw an increase in the number of homeless individuals living in their local communities. The article highlighted New Jersey Governor Murphy’s efforts to combat the homeless crisis and economic inequality in New Jersey, including an increase to the state’s minimum wage. At the July 24, 2019 Congressional Reception in Washington, D.C., Monarch Housing Associates and 36 partner organizations from New Jersey joined over 300 guests in Washington, D.C., to advocate for Federal Policy Priorities ensuring that Housing is a Right. Read the NJSpotlight article here.
Corey McDonald, of NJ.com, provided an overview of the NJCounts 2019 focusing on Hudson County. McDonald writes that NJCounts 2019 showed Hudson County’s homelessness population has increased by 3% since the 2018 NJCounts. Jim Kennelly, a Hudson County spokesperson, says, “As urban centers like these become more and more popular for redevelopment, the pressure on economically vulnerable populations only grows.” See the NJ.com story for more information.
Despite a decrease of 439 persons in the overall state-wide number of homeless individuals in New Jersey, more needs to be done to ensure all people have access to safe and affordable housing. To find out more, read the NJCounts 2019 Report.