There are fewer homeless people in New Jersey than 10 years ago, but the federal agency that tracks the most needy populations in each state says there are still several troubling trends in Garden State and across the country.
On a night in January, during a one-off count used each year to measure the homeless population of each state, there were 8,536 homeless counted in New Jersey, a decrease of four percent from the previous year, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development of the United States. Evaluation report of homeless people, published on Wednesday.
The decline is a trend: the state's homeless population has fallen by 37.9 percent since 2010, according to the report. In the last decade, the homeless population of New Jersey fell more than 50 percent, one of the highest rates in any state, he said.
But, the study also highlighted some populations in N.J. who continue to fight. Among the less positive findings of the study:
- This year there were 583 homeless veterans, an increase of 4.8 percent in 2016 and 2.8 percent since 2010.
- Lack of chronic housing is on the rise . There was a 30 percent increase in 2016 for New Jersey's long-term homeless residents, and an increase of 22 percent since 2010.
- Ten out of 10,000 people in New Jersey, a state of about 9 million of inhabitants, they have no home.
"The lack of housing in New Jersey has decreased steadily in recent years and, although the overall figures are low, the count of specific moments is the control of the reality of HUD, it tells us what to focus on", Lynne Patton, Regional Administrator of HUD Region II for New York and New Jersey, said in a statement on the report
"I am aware of the good work and pbadion that our grantees, advocates and volunteers invest in getting our men, women , and the children in a place they call home, and I will continue to support them in this effort. "
In a statement to NJ Advance Media, Kate Kelly of Monarch Housing Associates, who counts the state each year, urged Congress to maintain or increase funds to provide housing and combat homelessness.
"We have to avoid New Jersey to go back and see an increase in homelessness," he said.
A county-by-county look at the lack of housing in N.J.
In general, the lack of housing in 2017 increased throughout the country by just under one percent from last year. It is the first time that the number increases in seven years.
Reacting to the numbers in a statement, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said the country needs to come together to focus on increasing affordable housing options for Americans.
"This is not a federal problem, it's everyone's problem," he said.
In total, there were 553,742 homeless people counted one night throughout the United States. See the full report here.