New Visions Helps With Counts 2015
On Wednesday, February 4th, New Visions Homeless Day Shelter hosted the Project Homeless Connect for Camden County. Service providers—representing housing, employment and training, legal assistance, financial assistance, and health care—came to meet with individuals seeking assistance in overcoming barriers to acquiring housing and other services tied to homelessness. These providers included Camden AHEC, Camden County Board of Social Services, Camden County Council OEO, Camden County Women’s Center, Catholic Charities, Center for Family Services, Cooper Hospital, Horizon NJ Health, Project Hope, Rutgers University Behavioral Health Center, Twin Oaks, Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, and Wiley Adult Day Care.
In addition to the Project Homeless Connect, outreach workers were part of “NJ Counts 2015”—New Jersey’s annual Point-In-Time (PIT) Count of the Homeless. They visited all parts of Camden County, searching for homeless persons to complete PIT surveys. Food and other donations were distributed to individuals who completed the surveys. More than 80 homeless persons participated in the PIT survey process at New Visions Homeless Day Shelter. “We had a huge response to our PIT Count efforts this year,” commented Hilary Dugger Colbert, MPA, director of grants management for Community Planning & Advocacy Council. “I can’t say enough about Kevin and his staff at New Visions who opened their doors and let all of the activities take place at their shop. We are also grateful to all of the schools, agencies, and churches that donated supplies that were given out during outreach efforts as well as throughout the day and night.”
Why “NJ Counts” is Important
The PIT Count is the only opportunity throughout the year for most communities to take a comprehensive look at the total homeless population. It is especially crucial in assessing the needs of the unsheltered homeless. Each year, it provides a statewide snapshot of homeless households in our communities by identifying where they find shelter, what their needs are, and what factors contribute to making them homeless.;
The 2015 PIT Count will reveal important demographic data and other information about families and individuals who were homeless on the night of Tuesday, February 3rd, 201. Information collected through face-to-face conversations is obtained with the help of government agencies, community-based organizations, and local volunteers. In New Jersey, each county’s PIT Count is planned, coordinated, and carried out locally. Information gathered enables each community to better allocate housing resources and services in order to prevent and end homelessness.