Posted Friday, August 2nd, 2019

A federally required annual county of homeless persons in New Jersey, including breakouts for Morris County and all 20 other counties in the state, has found a slight decrease in homeless numbers, according to a snapshot taken statewide in January of this year.

In a report released this week, #NJCounts 2019 found 8,864 men, women and children, in 6,748 households, experienced homelessness across New Jersey.  This number decreased by 439 persons of 5 percent from 2018.Results of Annual Homeless Count in N.J and Morris CountyResults of Annual Homeless Count in N.J and Morris County

In Morris County, on a count taken on the night of Jan. 22, a total of 288 households, including 388 individuals were found to experiencing homelessness, according to the 2019 Point-InTime Count, which was done by a host of county and local social services representatives and volunteers. The numbers show an overall increase of 4 persons, or 1 percent, from 2015 to 2019.

Of those Morris County residents counted this year, 65 persons were identified as chronically homeless and 42 were not sheltered on the night of the count.

Over this five-year period there was a 5 percent increase in persons staying in emergency shelter and a 24 percent increase in unsheltered persons, but there was a 10 percent decrease in persons staying in transitional housing between 2015 and 2019. The report also found that 36 percent of the homeless household respondents in Morris County in 2019 reported that their last permanent address prior to becoming homeless was outside of the county.

The full statewide report and county by county reports are available at https://monarchhousing.org/njcounts-2019/

Some key statewide findings of the NJCounts 2019 as compared to NJCounts 2018 include:

  • 1,462 persons, in 1,351 households, were identified as chronically homeless, representing 16.5 of the total homeless population, an increase of 174 persons, or 13.5 percent, from 2018;
  • 1,482 persons were living without shelter, showing a decrease of 141 persons of 9 percent;
  • 992 households were counted as families, showing a 6 percent decrease in family homelessness (a family is defined as a household with at least one child under the age of 18 and one adult);
  • 34 unaccompanied youth under age 18 were identified in the count, which represents a 3 percent decrease in the number of unaccompanied homeless youth households.

“The count provides a consistent benchmark from which we can evaluate the effectiveness of strategies being implemented, the quality of data collection within communities, and the impact of larger societal factors,” said Taiisa Kelly, CEO of Monarch Housing Associates.

Counties across the state annually conduct NJCounts as required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to secure federal funding for programs serving persons experiencing homelessness.

Commissioned by the N.J. Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, Monarch Housing Associates coordinates NJCounts activities and completes analysis of data collected from the Point-in-Time survey.