FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 27, 2017
CONTACT: Dr. Robin Weinstein (1-844-M25 HOPE)
STATEMENT ON 2017 HOMELESS POINT IN TIME SURVEY FOR CUMBERLAND COUNTY
Surveys shows an increase of Homelessness in Cumberland County of 7.9%
(BRIDGETON, NJ)—Dr. Robin Weinstein, President & Founder of the M25 Initiative and Co-Founder of the Cumberland County Code Blue Coalition, today released the following statement concerning the 2017 Point-In-Time Survey for Cumberland County, NJ:
“The information gathered from the Point-In-Time survey is invaluable to policy makers and those on the front lines of combatting homelessness in New Jersey. The results give us a snapshot of our successes and challenges in ending homelessness in our generation. The data from the survey underscores the importance and value of the Cumberland County Code Blue Coalition and the urgency of the work of the Cumberland County Housing First Collaborative to end chronic homelessness by 2020 in our area.
“The survey is a snap-shot of the homelessness problem in our community because it represents the minimum number of persons who experience homelessness in Cumberland County on a given night. Coupled with other data sources, the findings demonstrate a real crisis for Cumberland County. While New Jersey had an overall decrease of 4.6% in the number of homeless individuals from 2016, Cumberland County saw an increase of 7.9%.
“The report demonstrates that because of the grassroots volunteer-based Code Blue Coalition, along with other community and government services, the number of homeless individuals who utilized emergency shelters increased by 67.2%. This is a significant increase showing increased access to emergency shelters through Code Blue, which reduces the number of individuals who must face the winter elements on the streets overnight. The data proves the life-saving need and value of the Code Blue program and the work of our volunteers who make it possible. The report also indicates improvement in the number of homeless veterans with a reduction of 20%.
“The increasing numbers of homeless individuals in our area is not only a moral failure, but has fiscal implications to our public institutions such as our jails and hospitals. A chronically homeless individual can cost taxpayers between $30,000-$40,000 per year to remain unsheltered. The Cumberland County Housing First Collaborative was formed to combat this moral and fiscal crisis by working to shelter 42 chronically homeless individuals by September 30th of this year.
“I applaud the Cumberland County Freeholders for instituting the Homeless Trust Fund, the work of our volunteers in the Code Blue Program, and the partnership of the Housing First Collaborative. Coupled with the work of other nonprofit partners, I am confident that Cumberland County has the resolve and compassion necessary to not only combat the homeless epidemic, but to end it! We need to address the problem holistically through prevention, triage, stabilization, and rehabilitation. The solution to homelessness is a home. We have made progress, but we have great work ahead. We will do what is hard and achieve what is great. Together, we will end homelessness in Cumberland County by 2020.”
For more information on the Point In Time Survey, please visit: https://monarchhousing.org/endinghomelessness/njcounts/. For more information on the Cumberland County Code Blue Program, please visit: www.codeblueccnj.org. For more information on the Cumberland County Housing First Collaborative, please visit: www.endhomelessness2020.com.
The M25 Initiative is a 501c3 non-profit in Cumberland County, NJ created for the sole purpose of engaging, equipping, empowering, and mobilizing the local church and faith-based organizations to employ innovative and cooperative solutions to alleviate suffering, feed the hungry, end poverty, reduce crime, revitalize a spirit community and transform lives!