SOMERSET, NJ - Local residents stopped by Somerset Community Action Program's new location on Pierce Street last Friday, to donate personal care supplies for a countywide initiative. 

This Wednesday, Jan. 24 the county will conduct its annual Point-in-Time survey of homeless individuals and families in Somerset County. Personal hygiene, clothing, and food items were donated. 

“Given the difficult economy, individuals and families who already are vulnerable are finding it even more difficult to make ends meet,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Brian D. Levine, human services liaison. “I want to thank the public for their generosity in the past in providing items to be distributed during the survey process; all donations are greatly appreciated.”   

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The survey is part of a statewide effort to obtain an accurate snapshot of New Jersey’s homeless population in response to a directive from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The data is also used by the county and local nonprofit agencies when applying for grants to assist the homeless population.

Collecting baseline data is essential to understanding the causes of homelessness and designing effective responses. 

Somerset County is required to report the number of people who are homeless at particular intervals in order to apply for HUD Continuum-of-Care funding, which is a competitive grant that provides housing and supportive services to people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. 

Data collection at regular intervals also helps track progress toward reducing homelessness.

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