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Reality

Not unlike many areas across the country, our community is experiencing an epidemic of homelessness, addiction, poverty and despair.

In New Jersey:

  • Homelessness increased in 2015 by 12.1% over 2013.
  • An estimated 24,519 men, women, and children are homeless over the course of the year.
  • The number of chronically homeless persons has risen by 21.2% over the past 5 years.

In Essex County:

  • In 2015, 3,859 households, including 5,175 persons, were experiencing homelessness—this represents 21% of the total homeless population in the state of New Jersey.
  • More than 42% of our displaced neighbors have been homeless for more than one year. The top two reasons for their current living situation was eviction and loss of job.
  • On a single winter night in 2015, 162 persons slept unsheltered, on the streets.
  • 33% of homeless individuals report suffering some type of disability—the most common include mental-health and substance-abuse issues.
  • Veterans make up 19% of the homeless population.
  • Among all homeless households, 54% report no source of income.

A Pressing Challenge in our Newark Community:

In a city of approximately 280,000 residents, more than 1,700 individuals return to Newark from state prison annually and an additional 1,400 are released from the local jail and correctional facility each month.  Of those returning home, an estimated 62% will be re-arrested, re-convicted or re-incarcerated at tremendous cost to our citizens. This destructive cycle contributes to unemployment, family destabilization and a disruption of the economic and social fabric of communities.