Newark targets homelessness with strategic plan

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The City of Newark’s strategic plan to end chronic homelessness: The Path Home: Collaborating Across Our Community brings together ideas from more than public, private, business, and non-profit sectors.

The plan aims to end chronic homelessness across the city over the next three years by building housing and “eliminating systemic barriers to delivering services during difficult circumstances.”

“My administration has continued to invest in solutions, including opening the historic Newark Hope Village, the innovative program using converted containers to shelter residents who are at-risk or without addresses,” said Mayor Baraka. “We also renovated the former Miller Street Elementary School building to now provide shelter and support services to residents without addresses, seeking a more stable life.

“I believe wholeheartedly that homelessness is a moral issue that demands our greatest efforts to achieve a solution. We need to provide our most vulnerable residents with decent homes and the tools they need to regain control of their lives. This plan does just that.”

In January 2022, there were 1,914 residents without addresses in Essex County. Of that, 1,695 were in Newark, and 134 were unsheltered.

“No American should have to sleep on the streets in a country with so many resources to help them,” Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr., said in a statement.

“This plan will help people who deal with homelessness get the resources necessary to get them off the streets and into permanent housing. It is a great plan that will give these Americans shelter and provide them with hope for the future.”

The plan has three priorities:

Address street homelessness by working with consultants to get real-time data about who comes in to support facilities, when, and where.

Improve access and services in shelter system to address the range of needs  from temporary shelter to health care to job training and employment.

Expand Prevention and Housing Serviceswill include developing a public and private funding plan to expand housing and services.

“When creating policy, lawmakers keep in mind the community in which they serve. It is amazing to see what can happen when bills become action,” said Assemblywoman Pintor Marin. “We can and we are doing more to protect our families, residents, and veterans by coordinating with the City of Newark, the State of New Jersey, and City-Wide organizations that interact with the homeless population daily.

“It is a guarantee to improve access, transform the culture in shelters, and to create new housing.”

Some of the organizations that participated in the strategic plan are: Newark YMCA; Prudential Financial; New Community Corporation; Newark Housing Authority; Apostle House; Newark Emergency Services for Families; Newark Downtown District; Catholic Charities; Edison Properties; Integrity House; Newark Community Street Team; Newark Alliance; and Yglesias Properties.

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