More NJ homeless expected

January 28, 2009 11:47:55 AM PST
For the first time since the recession hit, officials are trying to gauge how many more homeless people are now in New Jersey and across the nation. Social service workers and volunteers set out across the Garden State today as part of a homeless count they complete most years.

The results of the census, along with those being conducted in all 50 states this week, are forwarded to the federal Housing and Urban Development Department.

In 2007, the last time every New Jersey county participated in the count, there were more than 17,000 people who met the government's definition of homeless. But that doesn't include the nearly homeless, such as those staying temporarily with friends or family.

Nationwide, about 124,000 were counted two years ago.

But for every homeless person counted this week, advocates say two to three times as many are homeless at some point during the year.

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