Jan-23-09 New Jersey to Conduct Third Annual Statewide Point-In-Time Survey
New Jersey to Conduct Third Annual Statewide Point-In-Time Survey
TRENTON – On Wednesday, January 28th, the State of New Jersey will be conducting the third annual statewide Homeless Point-In-Time Survey. The survey counts the number of unsheltered homeless families and individuals on one day throughout New Jersey communities.
“Homelessness remains a serious problem, one that Governor Corzine is actively trying to combat,” said Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Joseph Doria. “This survey will be a useful tool in finding out how many homeless there are in New Jersey. Once we establish that figure, we can move forward with measures on helping these individuals and families.”
The Point-In-Time survey will gather demographic and other information about those who are homeless to be used to develop effective plans to address and end homelessness. Each County's Continuum of Care (CoC) coordinates their own Point-In-Time count, however, the method by which data is collected is uniform throughout the state. The survey will be conducted in shelters and on the street. Each CoC identifies places where they are likely to find unsheltered homeless individuals or families. Additionally, the survey will take place at a central location where services and information are available to homeless households and individuals.
The DCA and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA), a DCA affiliate, play a supportive role in coordination of the survey, providing technical assistance, volunteers and data from the Agency's Homeless Management Information System. The Corporation for Supportive Housing also plays a supportive role, providing technical assistance and preparing the final report based on the information collected. The data will be available after April 1, 2009.
The survey is just one of many measures taken to fight the problem of homelessness in New Jersey. In November 2008, Governor Corzine established the state’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, a group that will plan and coordinate activities and programs to assist homeless people, and make or recommend policy changes to improve such assistance. Additionally in 2008, Governor Corzine increased funding for the State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) from $37 million to $52 million. SRAP provides rental assistance funding to low-income individuals, including the elderly, disabled and homeless families. Currently, the program is assisting approximately 3,700 families throughout the state; which represents a 15% increase over the past year.
For information on local Point-In-Time Survey locations and opportunities to volunteer, please contact the HMFA at 609-278-7511.