HomeFront : Family Homelessness in Mercer County, NJ
At HomeFront, we pride ourselves in providing programs that focus on education and employment, that break the cycle of poverty, and that provide hope for the future. At this time in our history, we find an increasing demand for food, shelter and the other primal needs of homeless and vulnerable families in our community. The need is enormous.
This need has grown dramatically over recent years. Contributing factors include in a 40% increase in homelessness in New Jersey between 2008 and 2010. Families especially suffer as hard economic times of the past few years made a bad situation worse.
We have experienced a staggering 124 percent increase in unemployment in New Jersey. An increasing number of working class families can no longer afford the $1224 monthly Fair Market Rent established by HUD for a two-bedroom housing unit in Trenton. This rent requires nearly the entire average monthly income of working class families and is clearly beyond the reach of the increasing numbers of the unemployed.
Poverty rates are particularly high in Trenton:
31 percent of Trenton families with children and 45 percent of single-parent mothers live in poverty.
According to Census Bureau estimates, New Jersey has the second highest median income in the nation. At the same time, it has a high cost of living and 9.4 percent of New Jersey residents live in poverty. In Mercer County, nearly 11 percent of families with children are below the poverty level. Mercer County children are particularly impacted; 13.3 percent of children under 18 and almost 16 percent of children under four live in conditions of poverty.
We do everything we can, with help from our community of supporters, to meet the immediate needs and to continue to provide hope for a better future for homeless families.
Here’s what HomeFront Did Last Year
16,221 times, families came to us for, and were given–shelter, food and emergency assistance.
358 families with 805 children were in our Emergency Shelter programs.
8,110 food bags were distributed at our food pantry.
892 families were kept in their home through our homelessness prevention program.
111 long-term welfare people got help securing full-time work.
3,816 visits to our FreeStore were made by clients in need of clothing and household items.
119,080 meals were served to clients at the Family Preservation Center.
192 children attended one of five free eight-week summer camps.
150+ children participated in the year round programs on any given day.