NJCounts 2016 found 8,941 homeless men, women and children across the state of New Jersey. This showed a decrease of 1,279 persons (12.4%) from 2015. While the decrease shows progress, the count still shows the critical need for voucher and homeless assistance funding.
NJ Counts 2016 Overall Results
8,941 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 1,270 persons, or 12.4%, compared to the 2015 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.
1,442 persons were un-sheltered; up 48% from the 974 persons counted in 2015.
NJ Counts 2016 Key Findings
The number of homeless persons in emergency shelter, transitional housing and safe havens decreased by 20.3%, 14.5%, and 9.1%, respectively. The overall homeless population in New Jersey has decreased at an average rate of 8.8% per year over the last 5 years.
1,142 (17.4%) of the 6,559 homeless households counted through NJ Counts 2016 were families with children under the age of 18. There was a 15.2% decrease in homeless families as compared to 2015.
34 unaccompanied youth under 18 were identified in the count. This represents a 26.1% reduction in the number of unaccompanied homeless youth households.
2,107 children under the age of 18 were homeless. Of these children, 1,036 (49.2%) were five years of age or younger, and 1,071 (50.8%) were between the ages of six and seventeen. Children under the age of 18 represented 23.6% of the homeless population.
559 homeless veterans were identified in 2016, representing a 19.7% decrease from 2015. 73 veterans were un-sheltered on the night of the count.
46% of homeless persons reported some type of disability. Among homeless adults over the age of 18, 57.5% reported a disability. The most prevalent disability reported was mental health issues.
19.3% of households reported that they had been homeless for more than one year.
35.3% of homeless households indicated they had no source of income while 18.7% of homeless households indicated they were not connected to any kind of non-cash mainstream benefit.
35.6% 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 (13.5%), and eviction or risk of eviction (13.4%).
Essex County had the highest percentage of the statewide homeless population (19.9%), followed by Burlington County (10.4%) and Hudson County (9.3%).