Hudson County Homeless Prevention Efforts in Spotlight

Statewide housing association Community Development Spotlight series puts focus on homelessness in NJ


The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) brought its Community Development Spotlight series to Jersey City today to recognize efforts taken in Hudson County to create a model for the nation on how to address homelessness. Event partner Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation (GSECDC) was among three community development organizations that were recently awarded $1.3 million by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for homeless prevention.

“Community developers are meeting the needs of the people and places they serve through a variety of efforts, including homelessness prevention and services, despite limited resources,” said Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Network. “Hudson County nonprofit community developers are a great example by doing remarkable work to get homeless individuals into a safe place to live. We know NJ can and must do more to provide homes and hope for our neighbors.”

The County has partnered with nonprofit developers like GSECDC to address homeless through its Coordinated Entry Program for the Homeless. GSECDC has developed a comprehensive continuum of care for the homeless through the implementation of the County’s program which includes intake, assessment, individualized case management, service linkages, and a drop-in center; a street outreach team to engage the service-resistant; the GSECDC Rapid Re-Housing Program; permanent supportive housing for homeless special needs populations; and their recent partnership with the PERC Shelter.

“These programs were grown, developed, adapted and expanded in specific and direct response to unmet needs, said Susan Milan, director of social service and supportive housing for GSECDC. “We provide coordinated services to homeless individuals and families -- from living on the street, to emergency shelter, and through to permanent housing. We believe that all individuals and families should be provided with the opportunity to access safe, affordable, permanent housing without preconditions, and that everyone is ‘housing ready.’ With our partners in the Hudson County Alliance to End Homelessness, we continue to focus on identifying unmet needs and challenges faced by homeless consumers, and on developing creative solutions to address them.”

Local and state officials including Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-31), Hudson County Freeholder William O’Dea and Jersey City Council President Roland Lavarro participated in today’s event alongside nonprofit community developers like GSECDC’s Milan and York Street Project Executive Director Susan Byrne. Also in attendance was New Jersey Reentry Corporation Executive Director and former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey and Deputy Director John Koufos who spoke about the Jersey City Employment & Training Program to address the needs of County residents returning to the Community from prison.

“Hudson County understands the partnerships and financial commitment that are needed to address the homeless issue,” said O’Dea. “From funding a warming center in Kearny to assisting the chronic homeless and our commitment of social service funding from our operating budget to assist non-profits applying for State Housing Vouchers for the homeless, we are not afraid to put hard dollars in place to help fund solutions.”

The Community Development Spotlight series includes events in areas all across the state with a focus on various aspects of community development including homelessness prevention and services, economic development, community gardening, housing counseling, policy and advocacy, supportive and special needs housing, and much more.

For a full listing of events and for more information, please visit

About the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ
The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey is the statewide association of more than 250 community development corporations, individuals and other organizations that support the creation of affordable homes, economic opportunities, and strong communities. For more information on the Network, visit

For more information: Nina Arce
(609) 393-3752 x1200
(609) 789-7900
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