NJCounts Attracts Press Attention Across the State

Local and Statewide Press Reports on NJCounts Critical Connection to Census 2020 and Work to Build Racial Equity in Homeless System

On Wednesday, January 29, 2020, #NJCounts 2020, the statewide Point-in-Time count of the homeless, took place across the state counting individuals and households who experience homelessness.

Local government, non-profit agencies, community advocates, volunteers and others that plan community efforts to end homelessness will conduct the counts across the state. For the seventh year, Monarch Housing Associates coordinated the annual statewide NJCounts.

NJCounts 2020 received television, radio and newspaper coverage.
On January 14, 2020, NJTODAY.Com reported “Middlesex County To Conduct Count Of Homeless People.”

“This event is essential to our role as caring, humane communities and people,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Blanquita Valenti, chairperson for the Department of Human Services and Senior Services. “We have a moral duty to identify the men, women, and children in our cities and towns whose quality of life can be jeopardized just because they lack a place to live, safe from the elements and other conditions that might threaten their well-being.”

On January 16, Patch reported “Homeless In Newark: Outreach Event Will Give People A Hand Up.”

On January 27, 2020, NJ 101.5 and 94.5 PST interviewed Monarch Housing Associate’s Kasey Congero in the news segment, “This week: Getting a count of New Jersey’s homeless population.”

“Congero said NJCounts has been looking at racial disparity in the communities in New Jersey over the past couple of years. In 2020, it will review whether and to what extent individuals who identify as black are over-represented in the population experiencing homelessness.

She said as communities look to expand their understanding of the root causes of homelessness, it’s important to recognize the structural forces, including racism, that are impacting trajectories into and out of homelessness.”

On January 28, 2019, the Asbury Park Press reported, “Annual homeless count is Wednesday, and here’s why it’s important to your taxes.”

Taiisa Kelly, Monarch’s CEO told the paper, A “The amount of funding New Jersey gets for Medicaid or food stamps or other social-service programs is determined by census data,” said Monarch Housing Associates CEO Taiisa Kelly, whose organization administers the count. “People who are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity are usually hard to count; they don’t usually have an address. So, this is an opportunity to alert them to the census coming up (in April) and make sure they are participating and counted.”

On January, 29 NJTV reported in “Across NJ, volunteers take part in effort to count, and aid, the homeless” on the NJCounts effort in Middlesex County and the reasons why the point-in-time count is not only an important survey but provides outreach to indivdiuals experiencing homelessness.

“It’s about getting the data but it’s really about helping them,” said Bobbin Paskell, the COO of Coming Home, a Middlesex County nonprofit committed to ending homelessness. “That’s why we are doing this.”

On January 30, TapintoElizabeth reported “Local At-risk Youth Help the Homeless on a Cold January Night” in Union County. Shaquine Ingram, 21, is a CAU (Community Access Unlimited) youth members and participated in the count.

“It was good. We talked to them about how they could get services,” she said. “It’s a good experience because you don’t know if you could be that person.”

On January 30, TapintoNewBrunswick reported, “Point In Time Survey Takes Snapshot of New Brunswick’s Homeless.”

“What it will do, the federal government does and the state, is use this,” Paskall said. “And that allows us to say, ‘Hey, we need more of this kind of housing. We need more housing for families that is affordable. We need more housing for seniors.’ It allows us to plan.” Bobbin Paskall is the chief operating officer of Coming Home of Middlesex County.

On January 30, NJ.com reported “‘Where did you sleep last night?’ Inside the effort to count every homeless person in Hudson County” The paper interviewed Monarch Housing Associate’s Kasey Congero.

“It allows us to better target resources and be more effective,” said Casey Congero, an associate with the Ending Homelessness Team at Monarch Housing Associates, the organization that has coordinated the count for seven years. “We can track, year to year, the progress being made.”

On January 29, NorthJersey.com shared photos from NJCounts in Bergen and Passaic Counties.

On January 29, The Burlington County Times reported “Annual homeless count brings resources, food to Burlington County residents in need.”

On January 23, 2020, TheSandPaper.net reported, “New Jersey to Count the Homeless on One Day: Jan. 29.”