‘Point-In-Time’ annual survey upcoming in New Jersey
On Wednesday of next week, homelessness throughout New Jersey will be documented to help determine how to address its changing conditions.
The Point-In-Time survey also known as Project Homeless-Connect will take place in all 21 of New Jersey's counties.
It's a rough census and hinges on awareness among uprooted individuals, but is no easy task to put together.
"They need reminders...they need it posted...they need a poster like the ones we've given out to them," explained Judith Weittert of the Toms River Community Church.
Volunteers head towards hidden enclaves while the church and other similar venues serve as counting centers where homeless individuals can come in for clean clothes and nourishment.
Weittert says that she had high hopes for a big turnout last year at their location but only saw 12 people venture in.
"I want to see them come in and be counted," said Weittert. "I want to see all of this done for them because that's what I believe is happening here."
She believes that the more we understand the circumstances of homelessness, the more quickly and efficiently we can address the issue.
Weittert also sees care of these individuals to be of great moral significance.
"My faith says that they're God's children," said Weittert. "That's just how I feel but they deserve the same assistance everyone else is getting."
The annual survey is more than a head count, Weittert believes, as last year volunteer there listened to some of the complicated but real life stories in the lives of these homeless individuals.
"Here they are talking and telling the interviewer all of these things that have happened to them and what they need," said Weittert. "It was perfect."
Results put together by Monarch Housing in Cranford categorized 430 people in Ocean County as being homeless in 2016, which is a nearly significant decline from three years ago when the reported amount was 682.
Data collected will support requests for public and private financial aid.
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