Union County, NJ — The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $4,321,987 to the County from the federal Continuum of Care program. The funding will support 19 service projects to help the homeless.
“The Continuum of Care program helps individuals and families find housing and face other challenges, including the cost of health care, education, and support services,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “This federal funding is an essential resource that provides our at-risk residents with tools and support for a stable home environment.”
According to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report, last year more than 1,000 individuals reported being homeless for the first time in Union County.
Another indicator of homelessness in Union County is the annual Point-in-Time survey, a national “snapshot” coordinated through HUD. The survey is conducted over a 24-hour period each January. In 2018, the survey identified more than 459 individuals as homeless in Union County, including 153 children.
Union County’s Code Blue night-time winter shelter initiative also provides a window into homelessness in Union County. During the winter of 2017-2018, the Code Blue initiative recorded 3,132 people in shelters who would otherwise face below-freezing weather on the streets. The total included 532 children.
The 19 service projects funded through HUD include permanent and transitional housing as well as support services to help homeless individuals and families obtain and maintain stable housing and independence, such as job training, mental health counseling, and substance abuse treatment.
Freeholder Chair Kowalski also noted that Union County competes for federal funding against other agencies across the country.
“Our ability to present a successful case before HUD stems from the strong, collaborative relationships we have forged with our local partners,” she said.
Each year, Union County’s Department of Human Services works with community partners to submit a joint application to HUD.
The partners included in the 2019 funding are Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services, Inc., Community Access Institute, Community Access Unlimited, Covenant House New Jersey, Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, The Gateway Family YMCA, Homefirst Interfaith Housing and Family Services, Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth, Housing Authority of Plainfield, YWCA of Union County, and the Union County Department of Human Services.
For information about all services available through the Union County Department of Human Services visit ucnj.org/human-services.
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