stop poverty street sign

In 2018, Homefirst Services Reached

Over 400 families and

100 individual clients ~ 58% Female and 42% Male

Housing Services Provided

57 Properties Managed

33 clients – Permanent Supportive Housing

4 clients – Permanent Housing

4 Clients – Transitional Housing

Services in 5 Cities

  • 5 Units – Cranford
  • 39 Units – Plainfield
  • 3 Units – Scotch Plains
  • 4 Unites – Summit
  • 6 Unites – Westfield

Out of Reach 2016: New Jersey

Did you know, a person in New Jersey earning a minimum wage of $8.38 per hour would have to work 105 hours EACH WEEK in order to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment at the current fair market rent.

View New Jersey’s data sheet by the National Low Income Housing Coalition

cardboard home

Strong Economy, Yet Hard Times Remain

While the Union County economy is strong, it is important to recognize that any person or family can fall upon hard times. As a community we strive to lend a helping hand to those in need, and the annual Point in Time Count provides valuable insights into the issue of homelessness in our neighborhoods.  NJCounts 2018 found that 9,303 homeless men, women and children were counted across the state of New Jersey on the night of the Point-in-Time County. This was an overall increase of 771 persons, or 9%, compared to the 2017 count. 

Union County Joins National Survey on Homelessness

mother and child

The “Working Poor”

The “working poor” are people who spend 27 weeks or more in a year in the labor force either working or looking for work but whose incomes fall below the poverty level.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 9.5 million of people who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force were poor.  That year, the working poor comprised 6.3 percent of all individuals in the labor force.  Most of the people who live below the poverty level do not work, but this includes children, the elderly and the disabled poor.

41% of NJ Households Among Working Poor


Hunger in New Jersey

  • Although the fourth wealthiest state in the nation, there are numerous areas of Northeast New Jersey where the poverty level far surpasses that of the national average.
  • One-third of New Jersey’s residents do not earn enough to afford the basic necessities of food and housing.
  • One-third of the state’s employed residents live below the poverty level.
  • One-in-five children in New Jersey lives in poverty.
  • There are over 1.1 million food insecure people living in New Jersey.  More than 1/3 of them are children.
  • More than half of the children living in poverty in New Jersey reside in one of the four counties served by Table to Table.
  • Children suffering from poor nutrition during the brain’s most formative years score much lower on tests of vocabulary, reading comprehension, arithmetic, and general knowledge.

Source: Feeding America Union County NJ

New Jersey’s Affordable Housing Crisis

New Jersey is famous for having one of the highest costs of living of any state in the country. And as the state becomes less and less affordable, towns are being tasked with building hundreds of thousands of units for low-income residents. Many towns are fighting their given quotas. 

While some say the state is lacking 80,000 affordable housing units and housing advocates say it’s lacking 200,000 units, everyone agrees: New Jersey does not have enough affordable housing.

Source: – Affordable Housing in NJ


Poverty is rising in New Jersey. Is your town part of that trend?

New Jersey has one of the lowest poverty rates in the nation, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census. But poverty has been on the rise for the past 5 years in the Garden State.  The threshold for poverty is set when people can no longer afford those things that mainstream society often takes for granted. Most Americans spend at least one year below this threshold at some point.  See what percentage of your community is living below the poverty line.

Source: – Poverty one the Rise