A statewide effort will get underway to obtain an accurate count of New Jersey’s homeless population on On Wednesday, January 25. The Point-in-Time Survey along with Project Homeless Connect is getting a little extra help this time in Ocean County.

With the number of people going up every year, the survey is a cooperative effort among agencies in the County. It helps the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine the need for programs and services. It’s an annual initiative to obtain data and connect the people in need with a variety of options that may be open to them. Often times, they’re unaware of the array of services they have with people ready and willing to help them.

These agencies provide information on accessing housing, food, clothing, hygiene products, medical and dental services, mental health services, family services and more.

Ryan Reilly with the department, says they want everyone counted so if you can’t get there, call! Reilly says “we have mobile units that can come out to sections in case. There are times when people can’t make it out – no transportation, a disability – we want to help and that’s what we are here for.”

Usually, Ocean County has four sites. This time, they’re providing eight. They include Ocean County Hunger Relief in Toms River, Our Lady of Perpetual Health in Seaside Heights, Macedonia Baptist Church in Lakewood, Saint Mary’s Church in Barnegat, Debow’s United Methodist Church in Jackson, Plumstead Presbyterian in New Egypt, the Country Stop Kitchen Diner in Jackson and Christ Lutheran Church in Whiting.

For more information, call the Ocean County Department Board of Social Services at 732-349-1500.