Explainer: How many people are homeless in New Jersey


In 2014, New Jersey counted 13,900 people as being homeless. But not all of those people are living on the sidewalks, in parks, or bus station. Hank Kalet, who wrote about the homeless count for NJ Spotlight, explains that only 931 were living ”unsheltered.” The remaining 13,000 were living either in a homeless shelter or a hotel. Kalet says hotels are often used as temporary housing for the homeless.

This was one of the things I learned when I talked with Hank Kalet about his story on New Jersey’s homeless. If you’d like to hear more click the audio player. 

Kalet also helped put this year’s number into perspective. The figure of 13,900 is lower than it was in 2007 when the nation slipped into recession but still much higher than the precession figure of 8,296. 

New Jersey annually counts its homeless population each January. The count is used by the federal government to allocate funding. 

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Next year, Governor Christie is expected to unveil a 10-year plan that he said would “end homelessness in New Jersey.” 


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