NJCounts 2015 found 10,211 homeless men, women and children across the state of New Jersey. This showed a decrease of 1,645 persons (13.9%) from 2014. While the decrease shows progress, the count still shows the critical need for voucher and homeless assistance funding.
NJ Counts 2015 Overall Results
10,211 homeless men, women and children were counted across the state of New Jersey on the night of the Point-in-Time Count.
This was an overall decrease of 1,645 persons, or 13.9%, compared to the 2014 count.
1,425 persons, in 1,249 households, were identified as chronically homeless, a decrease of 74 persons, or 4.9%, compared to the 2014.
974 persons were un-sheltered; up 4.6% from the 931 persons counted in 2014.
NJ Counts 2015 Key Findings
The Number of homeless persons in emergency shelter, transitional housing and safe havens decreased 10%, 27.9% and 60% respectively. The overall homeless population in New Jersey has decreased at an average rate of 7.6% per year over the last 5 years.
1,346 (18.1%) of the 7,441 homeless households counted through NJ Counts 2015 were families with children under the age of 18. There was a 21% decrease in homeless families as compared to 2014.
46 unaccompanied youth under 18, were identified in the count. This represents a 33.3% reduction in the homeless unaccompanied youth population.
2,471 children under the age of 18 were homeless. Of these children, 1,278 (51.7%) were five years of age or younger, and 1,193 (48.3%) were between the ages of six and seventeen. Children under the age of 18 represented 24.2% of the homeless population.
695 veteran households with 738 persons were identified in 2015, representing an 11.9% increase from 2014. 80 veteran households with 85 persons were un-sheltered on the night of the count.
42% of homeless persons reported some type of disability. Among homeless adults over the age of 18, 52.4% reported a disability. The most prevalent disability reported was mental health issues.
17.9% of households reported that they had been homeless for more than one year.
36% of homeless households indicated they had no source of income while 23.9% of homeless households indicated they were not connected to any kind of non-cash mainstream benefit.
37.1% of homeless households indicated they were staying with friends and family immediately prior to becoming homeless.
Top factors contributing to homelessness were: being asked to leave a shared residence (21.4%), loss or reduction of job income or benefits (16.8%), and eviction (12.7%).
Essex County had the highest percentage of the statewide homeless population (16.9%), followed by Burlington County (13.2%) and Hudson County (8.9%).