Hudson County Records State's Largest Drop in Homelessness

The number of homeless people in Hudson County decreased by more than half this past year, according to an annual count conducted by Continuums of Care Homeless Assistance Programs.

Screenshot of interactive NJ Spotlight map of New Jersey homelessness
Screenshot of interactive NJ Spotlight map of New Jersey homelessness

Written by Colleen O'Dea, NJ Spotlight

Roughly 12,000 New Jerseyans were counted as homeless last year, the lowest level in at least the last five years, according to data from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

HUD recently released its 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress detailing point-of-time counts of the homeless throughout the nation. On one night during the last week of January each year, Continuums of Care Homeless Assistance Programs conduct a simultaneous count of the homeless in order to come up with an accurate, unduplicated estimate of how many people are living in shelters or on the streets.

In New Jersey, the state’s 17 CoCs counted 12,002 homeless people in the 21 counties. About 12 percent of those were unsheltered and a little more than 1 in 10 were considered chronically homeless, meaning they had a disability and had been homeless for at least a year or had had four episodes of homelessness in the prior three years. Almost half of the homeless were members of families – as opposed to individuals – and 4 percent, or 540 in total, were veterans.

The statewide numbers represent a drop of about 8 percent over the prior year, 2012, and an 11 percent decline since 2008.

Hudson County had the largest one-year drop of any county statewide, with the number of homeless counted cut by half to 942 last January. 

To see an interactive map of New Jersey's homeless population, continue reading at NJ Spotlight

NJ Spotlight is an issue-driven news website that provides critical insight to New Jersey’s communities and businesses. It is non-partisan, independent, policy-centered and community-minded.

Save the Projects December 09, 2013 at 07:29 PM
With the worsening economy, these statistics seem suspicious. I'm not inclined to believe them. For crying out loud according to the US Census Bureau 1/2 of the US population lives at or near the poverty level. So if there's been a huge increase in poverty in the last 10 years and homes are still being foreclosed left and right, how could the numbers be dropping? Perhaps what has dropped is the incentive to count the homeless to artificially make it appear as if the numbers have dropped, when they have in all likelihood increased.


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