Homeless Myths

The homeless population in any city or country is challenging to study because of their lack of permanent addresses and reliable communication. Some interesting research about panhandlers also lends itself to dispelling the myth that the decision to be homeless is something that individuals have power over and/or it is a psychological discussion.

Many individuals and families are homeless because of a economic, health or relationship crisis and not by choice. In fact, in 2010, 14% of individuals experiencing homelessness in New Jersey (HMIS data) reported that they were currently working and an additional 6% were collecting unemployment benefits.

The 2010 New Jersey Point in Time Count of the homeless found that only 33% of the individuals and families had been homeless for more than one year. In 2010, 26% reported being homeless at least four times in the last three years. In 2009 the number of respondents equaled 27%….