In light of a study revealing that Hudson County’s homeless population is up 11.7 percent from last year, a St. Peter’s University professor says “the issue is part of a much larger regional problem,” also stating that “the number of people sleeping in NYCâ€™s homeless shelters is greater than Hobokenâ€™s entire population.”Â
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Philip Mark Plotch, PhD, the director of the St. Peter’s University Masters of Public Administration program – who brought the homelessness study to the attention of Hudson County View – explained his feelings on the results of the study.
“The growing number of homeless people in Hudson County is part of a much larger regional problem. New York City is now experiencing record high homelessness. Every night, the number of people sleeping in NYCâ€™s homeless shelters is greater than Hobokenâ€™s entire population,” he said in an email.
“Rising rents are a factor, but there are many other reasons that people end up homeless such as a job loss, domestic violence, and mental illness.”
The study, conducted by the Hudson County Alliance to End Homelessness on February 4, found that 19.3 percent of the Hudson County homeless population were chronically homeless, while 24 percent reportedÂ homelessness was caused due to a loss or reduction of job income or benefits.
Plotch noted that one student in the MPA program believes many homeless families do not show up in studies because they are living with friends and/or relatives.
“One of our recent graduates, Qu’londa Stuckey, developed a set of recommendations to reduce the number of homeless families in Hudson County. Most of these families do not even show up in the statistics because they are doubled up living with friends and relatives,” Plotch stated.
“Qu’londa’s recommendations included building new facilities as well as expanding programs that can increase economic security before people becoming homeless.