HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – There is a growing community of homeless people living in Hoboken and locals are blaming the lack of affordable housing in New Jersey.
Nearly 1,000 homeless people are believed to be living in Hudson County, New Jersey according to County Executive Tom DeGise.
In an attempt to get to the root of the problem, lawmakers across the state have partnered up with Jersey City Medical Center and Hoboken University Medical Center to create a new supportive housing program called “familiar faces”.
“We need to ease the stress and burdens so that clients can focus on health and wellness,” Dr. Meika Roberson said during a Wednesday press conference.
The pilot program will reportedly provide supportive services and 25 permanent housing vouchers worth about $10,000 annually.
Recipients of the “familiar faces” vouchers will be frequent users of county corrections and rehabilitation centers, homeless shelters, hospitals, and other crisis centers.
The new initiative will be beneficial to those who qualify and cooperate however, some Hudson County residents are concerned about the homeless population that is unwilling to accept help.
“Not all of them want to come which is a very frustrating thing,” Tom DeGise admitted to CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.
County Executive DeGise says local law enforcement takes down homeless shanty towns regularly, only to have them pop up again.
Hoboken’s mayor Ravi Bhalla says his newly created homelessness task force will continue to reach out to people in need.
“We want to make sure everybody is safe and secure and if they have an opportunity to avail themselves to the services we offer. We want to lend a helping hand,” Mayor Bhalla explained.