More fall into poverty in N.J.

    A new study has concluded that poverty is rampant in New Jersey and getting worse.

    The Poverty Research Institute said nearly 2 million Garden State residents are living in poverty or teetering on the brink of the federally defined poverty threshold.

    The Rev. Bruce Davidson with the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey said the recession has strained the finances of those with limited incomes.

    “So many people are living right on the edge that one simple health-care crisis or one period of time when people are not working and have to rely on some kind of assistance or unemployment can put a family’s income in absolute turmoil,” said Davidson. “And then they’re in trouble.”

    Arnold Cohen with the Housing Community Development Network of New Jersey said nonprofit groups don’t have the resources to help the growing number of those in need.

    “There’s only so much that can be done through donations,” he said Tuesday. “We need the resources of local, state, and federal government to be able to make sure that everybody who is working or not working through no fault of their own is able to have the basics. A roof over their head, clothes on their back, food on their table.”

    Anti-poverty groups say there must be a more comprehensive government approach to provide counseling and support to the poor.

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