End Chronic Homelessness in Camden County



According to the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, Camden County has about 600 residents who are dealing with the challenges of being homeless. This number includes individuals who are without shelter and others living on the precipice of being unsheltered. Every municipality in the county shares in the ownership of this issue and all of them stand to benefit by working together to address the challenges that stem from this topic. For instance, many of the individuals experiencing the loss of housing are in encampments, cars and some are living day to day in motel rooms. The negative aspects of their living conditions are intensified by the complex problems they experience, including acute and chronic physical and mental health issues, addiction, unemployment, and a lack of affordable housing.

Camden County has developed the following plan to end homelessness and achieve “functional zero” by the year 2030. “Functional zero” is reached when the number of those who are homeless, whether sheltered or unsheltered, is no greater than the monthly housing placement rate.

The county has applied certain principles while developing our plan to end homelessness, including:

  • Utilize Data-Driven Decision Making: Establish systems for collecting and analyzing data to inform evidence-based interventions responsive to homeless populations’ needs.
  • Monitor and Adjust Strategies: Continuously evaluate and adjust strategies based on outcomes and feedback, ensuring ongoing effectiveness in combating homelessness.
  • People-Focused: Listen to those with lived experience and those working on the ground and apply compassion first wherever possible.



In 2018, the Camden County Board of Commissioners made a policy decision to establish a coherent, systematic approach to homelessness by creating the Office of Homelessness Services within the Division of Community Development. Camden County is committed to lobbying for policy reforms at local and state levels to address systemic issues contributing to homelessness, advocating for the right to housing for all.

Office of Homelessness Services

This office coordinates federal, state, and local funds, making investments to end homelessness through research from across the country, working with local non-profits and listening to people with lived experience and expertise.



The Camden County Board of Commissioners are proud to serve our residents across all of our diverse communities. We also recognize that this primary purpose can be pushed to the side when government agencies and service providers focus too narrowly on rules and regulations. The Office of Homeless Services spoke with people with lived experience and expertise to develop the policies and plans that will end homelessness here.

Anti-Stigma Campaign on Homelessness
The Commissioners will plan an anti-stigma campaign on homelessness. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that many people live on the edge of homelessness. By addressing the stigma and shame associated with being unhoused, we hope to overcome bias that prevents people from finding an apartment, moving into your neighborhood, and finding employment.

Compassion for Homelessness Encampments
Camden County has looked for a balance between the needs of housed residents and businesses and the needs of our unhoused neighbors by applying compassion when addressing homeless encampments. The Office of Homeless Services partners with multiple state, county, and local agencies to accomplish this goal.

Work Now Program
Managed by Volunteers of America (VOA), these work groups have assisted with projects throughout the city and the county parks system. Some Work Now participants have moved on to
permanent employment and housing.

Camden County ID Program
The Commissioner Board and the Camden County Sheriff created the Camden County ID, a low-barrier, multi-tiered photo identification card issued by the Camden County Sheriff’s Department. The ID requirements, details of the service, and an application for the card are available at Camden County’s website.

Additional Resources:




The Board of Commissioners promote engagement and collaboration with all stakeholders. We have taken a cross-departmental approach to homelessness, creating an internal working group dedicated to working collaboratively to provide services to shared populations. We will initiate community outreach to identify and engage with homeless residents, involve volunteers in addressing homelessness, and foster partnerships among government, nonprofits, businesses, and community groups for coordinated efforts addressing homelessness issues throughout the county.


Homeless Network and Planning Committee
A county-wide group of service providers, and a key partner, the Southern New Jersey Continuum of Care (SNJCoC). SNJCoC is a HUD-mandated organization that issues and manages housing vouchers for the chronically homeless.

Coordinated Entry
Under the SNJCoC umbrella, the Center for Family Services (CFS) administers a coordinated entry to services. CFS focuses primarily on the chronically homeless, and the Office of Homeless Services is working to strengthen the Coordinated Entry process that can help all homeless people and reduce risk for our neighbors living in precarious housing situations.

Hearts and Hands for the Homeless
Rather than providing help such as food, personal hygiene items or household comfort materials to the homeless on their own, the county encourages compassionate individuals to do so through Hearts and Hands for the People. This group of vetted service providers – who are listed on www.camdencounty.com – provides a crucial link for homeless people to get connected to services and, most importantly- housing. The county’s goal of reaching “functional zero” homelessness county wide is better assisted when well-meaning individuals work with service providers who will appreciate their support in helping those in need of assistance.

Sober Living and Peer Support Specialists
Sober Living facilities for formerly homeless people living in recovery and peer support specialists doing homeless outreach are both available through a partnership between Office of Homeless Services and the Office of Mental Health and Addictions Services.

Wrap-Around Services
This pilot program is a partnership between the county’s Homeless Trust Fund and Camden County Board of Social Services to fill in gaps for those who may not qualify for emergency assistance.

Additional Resources:



As part of Camden County Board of Commissioners approach to reaching “functional zero”, the county is dedicated to helping those at risk of becoming homeless. The Office of Homeless Services provides resources to a variety of nonprofit organizations who distribute them to neighbors in need of assistance with paying back rent and utilities, security deposits, motel rooms, and shelter beds for income-eligible individuals and families who are at risk of homelessness or are homeless already.

Nonprofit organizations authorized to distribute assistance funds include:

  • Catholic Charities Diocese of Camden Phone # 856-342-4100
  • Senior Citizens United Community Services (SCUCS) Phone # 856-456-1121
  • Camden County Council on Economic Opportunity (CCCOEO) Phone # 856-964-6887
  • Volunteers of America Delaware Valley Phone# 856-854-4660 x164

My Resource Pal
This online directory of service providers can assist with a wide variety of issues is organized by ZIP Code and by service types. My Resource Pal is managed by the Camden County Coalition of Healthcare Providers.

Housing Navigator
Housing Navigator is part of My Resource Pal and can be used to find affordable housing units. Each entry provides details and contact information for those looking to rent affordable housing. Anyone needing help to access and go through the list should contact Senior Citizens United Community Services (SCUCS) at 856-456-1121, and ask for the Housing Navigator.

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance
This program, using federal HOME-ARP funds, provides a voucher for up to two years for low-income families, and is also managed by SCUCS, reachable at 856-456-1121.


A variety of loans and grants to support developers creating affordable housing.

• Home Improvement Program and First Time Home Buyers: Recently updated programs that provide funds to current homeowners for property improvements, and to aspiring homeowners to go toward the purchase of a first home, up to $25,000.

• Diversion Fund: A pilot partnership between the Camden County Homeless Trust Fund and Catholic Charities. The Diversion Fund will enable Catholic Charities to address homelessness and related issues that aren’t typically supported with government monies.

• Wrap-Around Services: A new program developed as a partnership between The Homeless Trust Fund and the Camden County Board of Social Services to help families who are not eligible for Emergency Assistance from the Board, but still need assistance. This service provides both flexible funds and assistive case management.

Additional Resources:



Across our 36 municipalities, the Camden County Board of Commissioners support and partner with many programs to provide mental health support, substance abuse treatment, job training, and education to meet the needs of homeless residents. The following strategies listed here work to end homelessness in Camden County and supplement the programs listed above.

Volunteers of America (VOA) Impact Teams
Teams embedded in several police departments throughout the county, providing support and resources to towns responding to homelessness.

Code Blue
A state-mandated emergency response when outdoor temperatures are at or below freezing. Camden County, with state funds, currently supports Camden City in their Code Blue response. We are developing a plan to evaluate options to help towns to respond to Code Blue collectively and to make it easier for homeless people to stay in their own towns humanely within their own communities, rather than being transported to shelters in the City of Camden.

Emergency Shelters (Camden City)
VOA shelters and Joseph’s House, both in Camden City, are supported by Camden County. The shelters can be accessed by calling 211 or the VOA Navigation Center at 856-671-6101.

Emergency Shelter (Blackwood)
In 2021, the county partnered with VOA to establish Regan Center, a 23-bed men’s emergency shelter in Blackwood that includes medical respite for homeless men who have been released from the hospital. The Regan Center has reached a 70% positive exit rate, and a Work Now program is also run out of the shelter. All Emergency Shelters located in the Camden County can be accessed by calling 211 or the VOA Navigation Center at 856-671-6101.

Additional Resources:



In addition to services provided through the Policy, People, Prevention, Partnerships, and Programs elements of our Six-Point Plan to Combat and Eliminate Homelessness, Camden County is addressing homelessness in spaces that are points of need for our homeless residents. The county’s Division of Community Development partners with multiple state, county, and local agencies to address the needs of our unhoused neighbors living in homeless encampments, with a goal of making it possible for them to access shelters and ultimately, live in homes of their own.

The county is introducing Gov Pilot / Gov Alert for towns to report encampments so we can engage in outreach and work together to plan tailored approaches for people at each site.The Concern Reporting App: https://main.govpilot.com/web/public/64471667-e03_Concern-Reporting-County-of-Camden?uid=7445&ust=NJ&pu=1&id=0. This GovAlert App provides government officials with the opportunity to report homelessness issues to the Office of Homeless Services.

Supportive Housing & Shelter Beds
The Camden County Board of Commissioners are developing a 60-bed facility to provide emergency shelter and supportive housing. Like the Regan Shelter, it will be situated outside the City of Camden to serve clients as a countywide facility.

The “M.A.C.”
A Multi-Agency Services Center in the city will connect homeless and neighbors with services that can help them find long-term housing. This is a partnership between Camden County and Camden City.

Text to Donate Program
Camden County is exploring this model as part of an overall panhandling reduction effort.



Featured Speaker Julia Orlando: Download presentation here



Robert Jakubowski, Director
Camden County Community Development
520 Market Street, 6th Floor
Camden, NJ 08102
(856) 374-6033

Jamie DiFrancesco, Homeless Prevention and Services
Camden County Community Development
520 Market Street, 6th Floor
Camden, NJ 08102
(856) 374-6369