Homelessness in NJ

The following excerpts are attributed to the Executive Summary of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, NJ 2014  Point-In-Time Count:

NJ Counts 2014, New Jersey’s annual Point-In-Time (PIT) Count of the Homeless, provides a statewide snapshot of homeless households in our communities; where they find shelter, what their needs are, and what factors contribute to making them homeless.  The 2014 Count reveals important demographic and other information about families and individuals who were homeless on the night of Tuesday, January 28, 2014, and was carried out with the help of government agencies, community-based organizations, and local volunteers.

On the night of January 28, 2014, 13,900 homeless men, women and children were counted across the state of New Jersey. This was an overall increase of 1,898 persons, or 15.8%, compared to the 2013 count.

NJ Counts 2014 Overall Results

  • 13,900 homeless men, women and children were counted across the state of New Jersey on the night of January 28, 2014.
  • This was an overall increase of 1,898 persons, or 15.8%, compared to the 2013 count.
  • 1,499 persons, in 1,246 households, were identified as chronically homeless, an increase of 278 persons, or 22.7%, compared to the 2013.
  • 931 persons were living un-sheltered; down 33.4% from the 1,399 persons counted in 2013.

NJ Counts 2014 Key Findings

  • 2,181 of the 9,202 homeless households counted through NJ Counts 2014 were families with at least one child under 18 years old and at least one adult, a 193 (9.7%) increase in families compared to 2013.
  • 639 homeless veterans were identified, down 20% from 2013. Only 75 of these veterans were unsheltered on the night of the count.
  • The number of homeless persons in transitional housing (3,183) and living unsheltered (931) both fell, but the number of those staying in emergency shelters increased by 2,538 persons (35.1%). A portion of this increase can be attributed to the fact that through NJ Counts 2014 unlike in years past, a number of counties counted persons receiving Temporary Rental Assistance (TRA) from Boards of Social Services as homeless persons in emergency shelter. Counties utilize TRA to serve persons who meet the definition of homeless.
  • 40% of homeless persons reported some type of disability, with more reporting mental health issues (20.4%) than any other type of disability.
  • 106 unaccompanied youth, in 75 households with only children under 18, were identified in the count. However, this is most likely an undercount due to the fact that more accurate ways of counting this population are needed.
  • 24% of households reported that they had been homeless for more than one year.
  • 4,098 children under the age of 18 were homeless. Of these children, 2,004 (48.9%) were five years of age or younger, and 2,094 (51.1%) were between the ages of six and seventeen.
  • The top reported sources of income by homeless households on the night of the count included: having no source of income (28%), General Assistance (23.9%), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (18.6%). The top non-cash benefits reported were Food Stamps (55%) and Medicaid (42.5%).
  • Top factors contributing to homelessness were: being asked to leave a shared residence (20.4%), loss or reduction of job income or benefits (18.3%), and eviction (14.4%).
  • Burlington, Essex, and Union Counties each had 12% of New Jersey’s homeless population, which was the highest percentage throughout the State.

Source:
Corporation for Supportive Housing, NJ 2014  Point-In-Time Count

 

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