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Annual Survey of Homeless Indicates 5% Decrease in Past Year

But chronic homelessness is on the rise, along with number of kids without families living on the streets

homeless
Credit: Emma Lee/WHYY
Michael Carter, a homeless veteran in Bridgeton, says he sometimes finds shelter in abandoned homes.

While overall homelessness in New Jersey dipped in the past year, chronic homelessness and the number of unaccompanied children living on the street grew, according to an annual point-in-time survey conducted by Monarch Housing, a Cranford-based nonprofit, in January.

When it surveyed the entire state on January 24th, Monarch tallied 8,532 homeless people, a 4.6 percent decrease from 2016.

Still, the report concluded that the number of people lacking reliable housing in the Garden State remained roughly the same year after year.

Within that number, specific populations of homeless ebbed and flowed.

Homelessness among families dropped slightly, but the number of kids on their own without housing nearly doubled. Canvassers found 49 homeless kids, fending for themselves.

Chronic homelessness also increased, accounting for more than one thousand of the people counted.

Read the full story on NewsWorks.org, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.

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