NEWARK, NJ — Newark converted seven containers into temporary housing for the homeless, city officials announced Monday.
The city has one of the largest populations of homeless individuals in New Jersey; Monarch Housing’s annual count in January found 1,859 homeless people, which accounted for 86 percent of homeless residents in Essex County.
Mayor Ras Baraka said the containers will form Newark Hope Village; he said it would allow the city’s most vulnerable to connect with services they need in a safe place.
“Many of our residents without addresses have been traumatized by the system that was created to serve them,” Baraka said. “Housing is the key, but we must first re-establish trust with those who have been scarred.”
Newark Hope Village’s seven containers will house 24 people, officials said. Dorm-style rooms were built into the containers with heaters, bunk beds, storage space and dressers. There are also shower rooms and a multipurpose structure.
The city has struggled to meet shelter needs amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
In February, Baraka announced an old school would become a shelter for the homeless.