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What services are available to help the homeless?

Last Updated: 09/09/2020

New Jersey residents experiencing homelessness should call 2-1-1 for help.

2-1-1 community resource specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can help clients who speak many different languages. Information provided will be kept confidential, except for information that needs to be shared with providers involved in providing shelter or shelter-related services.

In addition, the Social Service for the Homeless (SSH) program assists families and individuals who are experiencing homelessness or are at imminent risk of becoming homeless, but are not eligible for welfare (usually because their income is too high) and so are not eligible for Emergency Assistance.

The SSH program provides emergency food, emergency shelter and payment of security or utility deposits as well as back rent, mortgage and utilities costs. These services, which are available on a 24-hour emergency basis, also include referral services and limited case management.

Additional Resources

  • Those in need of food, cash, or other assistance, can learn about what programs are available and how to apply online or call 211.
  • For help dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression, call 866-202-HELP (4357) for free telephone counseling or assistance. You can also text NJHOPE to 51684.
  • Those struggling with addiction or substance use disorder, can call 1-844-ReachNJ (844-732-2465), a 24-hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week addictions hotline where people can get support from trained addiction counselors.
  • Those who may be having suicidal thoughts should call 1-855-NJ-HOPELINE (855-654-6735).
  • For veterans in crisis, help is available by calling the Veteran Crisis Line at 1 (800) 273-8255 and pressing 1 or texting 838255
  • Survivors of domestic violence can call the New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-572-SAFE (7233).

Emergency COVID-19 Housing

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved New Jersey's request to use emergency, non-congregate sheltering for individuals impacted by COVID-19 that do not have the means or ability to isolate themselves.

This allows State, county, and local entities to be reimbursed for providing housing at hotels or motels for certain vulnerable populations, including: homeless families who live in congregate shelters with at least one family member who has tested positive for COVID-19 and homeless individuals who require quarantine or isolation due to a positive test for COVID-19.

Source: https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/news/press/2020/approved/20200318b.html