Local New Jersey residents respond: Why do you think people are homeless?

Copyright: ginasanders / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: ginasanders / 123RF Stock Photo

Because they have no family members. They don’t have family to go to.
–Mark, 26, Unemployed.

Situations happen. Poverty and corruption have a lot to do with it. We all go through stuff. People give up too easily. You have to keep hope.
–Moses, 23, Male Model.

I can’t tell you nothing about that. I don’t know.
–Raul, 41, Carpenter.

Um, maybe they got into a life crisis, like losing their jobs and couldn’t afford to pay for their house and stuff.
–Danielle, 15, student.

Well I was homeless. Some people are homeless because of substance abuse [or] depression. Some people are homeless because they want to be. They get evicted from their apartments and end up homeless and don’t want to do nothing about it. There is help but they don’t want to reach out and get it.
–Geri, 55, Facilitator at Hudson Country Self Help Center.

Poverty, lack of affordable housing, corrupt politicians paid off by developers. There is lots of money out there not being spent on the city. People also have personal issues and they fall through the cracks but it is the country’s responsibility to make sure they have a safety net. I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said, “It is important to educate the entire community because you have to live with them” but I could be wrong.
–Unknown, 51, Teacher

Situations they put themselves in. It’s about their decisions.
–Josh, 26, Customer Service Associate

I think that there is no one out there to help other people. Nobody cares. Anyone can be homeless. I was driving in the car with my mother and saw this man digging in the donation boxes for blankets when the snow was bad. I felt so bad. I gave him the money in my wallet and helped him find some blankets. After that I went around asking for blankets to donate to people.
–Wanyam 17, student

I think there be all kinds of homeless people, homeless families. All those years people gave (paid taxes), now it’s time to help them. The rich get richer. I walk around with a smile on my face and ten dollars in my pocket. But they walk around with millions in they pocket and still miserable. I saw a woman who came up to my daughter asking for food. She had a hospital band on. I had no money but I reached in my pocket and gave what I could for food. And I’m broke. It feels good when you give.
–Justine, 50, Babysitter

They don’t like to work.
–Jen, 18, Unemployed

Maybe they are not making enough money.
–Vaishali, 38, Business owner