Homeless in Bergen County


Gerry Drummond, far right, asks questions of two men living under an overpass while Jamie Schleck of Community Solutions looks on.
Point-inTime survey questioning two homeless men; photo by Amy Newman, staff photographer, the RECORD


The Bergen RECORD recently (Thursday, February 5, 2015) published an article describing the results of the annual Point-in-Time survey, a count of as many homeless people as could be found throughout Bergen and Passaic counties. A shocking photo of two very young men trying to survive under an overpass in Ridgefield accompanied the article.

CoFiA did not know these two men, but  several people have come to us asking for help in finding shelter. We contacted the Bergen County homeless shelter on River Road in Hackensack, and found that even though the shelter is always full, during the bitter cold months people are admitted to stay in the “sit-up” rooms, where they are given a chair, a blanket, and access to showers, three meals, and laundry.

We were able to let the people looking for help know of this option, and that we would help them get there if necessary. However, the men did not return and the word on the street was that they had been able to relocate to regular housing–maybe as a result of money earned during the snow storm.

We are grateful to Julia Orlando, director of the Bergen County shelter, and her assistant Mary Sunden, for working with us to find a way to alleviate this misery. Although we hope that there will be no further incidences of homelessness, at least we know where to turn for help.

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