December 27, 2023


← Back to News overview

Newark, NJ — December 27, 2023 — Mayor Ras J. Baraka today announced radical results one year after launching the City of Newark’s nationally-acclaimed strategic plan to end chronic homelessness. The three-year plan, “The Path Home: Collaborating Across Our Community,” has achieved global recognition as an effective way to combat surging homelessness around the world, and serves as a model for municipal administrators throughout the country.

“One year after introducing ‘The Path Home,’ we see progress and positive impact in each of its three overarching strategies, to Better Address Street Homelessness, Improve Access and Services Throughout the Shelter System, and Expand Prevention and Housing Services,” said Mayor Baraka. “As we implement and measure the outcomes of 25 separate initiatives that support our goal, we find ourselves entering our second year far ahead of our expectations. Our comprehensive, city-wide collaboration has yielded a 57.6% decrease in Newark’s unsheltered population – one more instance of the power of people working together for people.”

The focus of the past year has been on better addressing street homelessness by bringing together all the partners that support homeless residents on the street, including community leaders, mobile crisis teams, behavioral health providers, outreach workers, law enforcement, hospitals, and those with lived experience. Through focused coordination and collaborative monthly convenings, the city has been able to enhance street outreach efforts and make them more effective to bring more people indoors for shelter and services. Also, by partnering with the Department of Community Affairs’ Office of Homelessness Prevention and Community Solutions for support with data analytics and infrastructure implementation, the City has improved its data collection, analysis and tracking. This work has contributed to a stunning 57.6% reduction in street homelessness.

“We recognize that housing is a vital part of any plan to end homelessness. That is why, as part of our city’s strategy to develop more affordable housing, we incorporated solutions to address prevention and develop housing for people experiencing homelessness. My department looks forward to continued collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services to further this progress,” said Allison Ladd, Deputy Mayor and Director of the City’s Department of Economic and Housing Development.

“We have been working hard over the past year with tremendous support, from multiple stakeholders within the public and private sectors, in Newark and New Jersey to make significant progress on almost half of the initiatives. We set an ambitious goal of ending chronic homelessness and we are on our way there,” said Director of the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services Luis Ulerio.

Additional highlights from Year 1 include:

  • Built transitional housing units for 20 unsheltered residents as the second iteration of Hope Village, Come as You Are: Bridge Housing Community.

  • Secured funding and space to create a 24/7 resource center to serve Newark residents with a focus on those experiencing unsheltered homelessness.

  • Commissioned comprehensive housing implementation plan with a goal to develop 400 additional housing units in support of the city’s housing and homelessness plans.

  • New mobile outreach team with Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Department of Psychiatry to address the dual challenges of homelessness and behavioral health issues.

  • Partnered with NJ 211 to develop the first of its kind texting service to enable members of the public to alert street outreach teams of Newark residents in need of help or shelter.

  • Received a $2.9 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to provide community-based, comprehensive, trauma-informed behavioral health crisis services to individuals experiencing mental health emergencies, including those who are homeless.

  • Took affirmative steps to address the conditions at the largest emergency shelter in Newark. The facility was brought up to code and support services were improved to deliver a stronger shelter model for residents.

  • Partnered with Rutgers New Jersey Medical School to deploy clinical outreach workers across emergency shelters to engage residents managing behavioral health issues and provide medication, assisted treatment, and recovery support services.

  • The Department of Community Affairs announced this year that it will issue 4,000 housing vouchers over the next two years to Newark residents who are housing insecure or experiencing homelessness and work with the City and partnering community-based providers to support these residents to ensure positive housing outcomes.

“As a commission, we remain steadfast in our support of the Mayor, City Council and the residents of the city of Newark as we continue our important work of ending chronic homelessness,” said Jim Pelliccio, Chair of the City of Newark Commission on Homelessness. “We will continue to report our progress and challenges as we move forward with this critical work.”

“The Newark Alliance sees collaboration among Newark’s anchor institutions as key to the plan’s success and being able to bring our Members to the table to support this work has been essential. As a member of the Commission and the funding workgroup, I am excited to see the progress and for the work ahead, especially on the housing front,” said Evan Weiss, CEO of the Newark Alliance.

“Newark demonstrates the leadership and collaboration we see as necessary for effective strategic plans to reduce homelessness. They are utilizing data and evidence-based solutions while also trying new approaches tailored to the community. We are thrilled to be working with them on ‘The Path Home,’” said Tamiru Mammo, of Bloomberg Associates.

The City is committed to creating an effective homeless system that provides emergency, temporary support to those in crisis while effectively assisting their path to a permanent home. Newark prides itself on caring for its residents through innovative actions that are rooted in hard data, and implemented with community spirit. It views homelessness not as the failure of a few, but as an opportunity for the entire city to meet a challenge, and rise together.

To view the implementation update, click here.

To view the city’s strategic plan to end chronic homelessness, click here.


For more information on the City of Newark, please visit our website at