On Wednesday, NJ counts the homeless population
A count in 2022 recorded more than 8,700 individuals experiencing homelessness throughout the Garden State.
Advocates expect an even higher number to be recorded for 2023.
Wednesday marks a statewide "Point-in-Time" count of individuals and households who are homeless. Volunteers, advocates, nonprofits, and others are hitting databases and the streets in order to get a tally of both sheltered and unsheltered individuals.
Some of the counting started Tuesday night.
"Because people who are homeless are transient, it's a good idea to count at night, because we can find people where they're at," Nadine Azari, an associate with Monarch Housing Associates, told New Jersey 101.5.
The Cranford-based nonprofit works with county governments to coordinate the yearly count.
Once the NJCounts 2023 numbers are finalized, they're submitted to the federal government and can be used to determine funding and assistance for the Garden State.
Last year's effort on Jan. 25 recorded 8,754 men, women and children without a real place to call home. Fewer than 1,000 were unsheltered.
The 2022 count represented an increase of 657 people from 2021. Azari said another increase is expected this year, as there are fewer COVID-related obstacles to how the count can be conducted.