Hudson County partners with local nonprofit to prevent homelessness

Aired June 8, 2016
By Raven Santana

Coordinated entry program has developed affordable housing throughout Jersey City with $1.3M grant

More than 1,000 people are taking advantage of a program that keeps them from living on the streets. It's part of a dynamic program that's taking hold on a major urban crisis.

In an effort to prevent homelessness statewide, Wednesday afternoon, members of Hudson County's housing development used their affordable housing entry program as an example for other cities.

The county has partnered with non-profit developers like Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation to help the homeless, who they say are the most vulnerable in our society.

“The biggest problem we're seeing is that the high cost of rental housing, here in Hudson County and across the state of New Jersey, is really making it almost impossible for people to afford to live here. And the thing that causes homelessness is the lack of affordable homes,” said Staci Berger, president & CEO of The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey.

Hudson County partnered with the non-profit developer through its coordinated entry program for the homeless, which has developed affordable housing throughout Jersey City with a $1.3 million grant awarded to them by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Homeless Prevention.

“We've developed a comprehensive plan to look at housing for those who have just got out of prison, for those who are medically needy,” said Jim McGreevey, former governor of New Jersey.

Advocates say the program's success is based on a housing and then treatment philosophy.

“We believe we house them first and then we deal with all the other barriers and issues they have,” said Carol Mori, Executive Director of Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation. “Many people are one paycheck away. It’s not just drug addicts or people with mental health disabilities; it affects everyone.”