MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Morris County on Wednesday participated in the national Point-in-Time Count and Survey of the Homeless. This national census of homeless persons took place on Wednesday, when Morris County and surrounding counties counted the number of individuals who experience homelessness.

The annual Point-in-Time count is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is intended to guide efforts to end homelessness. This year's count included homeless families, youth and veterans.

Homeless Solutions, which participated in this year's count, is a private nonprofit organization that works the homeless in Morris County. The organization offers shelter, services and housing to homeless, as well as low-income individuals and families. 

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"NJCounts generates invaluable information for Homeless Solutions and our other Morris County partners," said Dan McGuire, president and CEO of Homeless Solutions, Inc.

"It helps us measure our progress in reducing overall homelessness and in responding to certain priority populations such as unsheltered or chronically homeless households. Data generated from this effort also yields important insights that can help us tweak existing programs, roll out a new initiative or forge a strategic partnership that addresses a need or fills a gap."

NJCounts 2017 found 8,532 homeless men, women and children across the state of New Jersey. This 2017 number decreased by 409 persons, or 4.6 percent, from 2016.

"Last year’s NJ Counts showed that we achieved a 9 percent reduction in Morris County homeless household," McGuire said. "We’re upbeat that the 2018 NJ Counts data will show continued progress, reflective of the hard work we’ve engaged in throughout the past year."

NJ 2-1-1, which serves as the homeless hotline in Morris, Hudson, Middlesex and Passaic counties, also participated in this year's count.

"We’ll be actively involved in this effort to understand homelessness by counting and gathering data on every caller from anywhere in the state who self-identifies as being homeless," said Melissa Acree, executive director of NJ 2-1-1. "No one deserves to be without a safe, warm place to rest his or her head."

The purpose of the annual count is to provide evidence of the progress to end homelessness, as well as the current challenges that exist. The census is conducted by networks of organizations and agencies and is coordinated by Monarch Housing on the statewide level. 

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