Quick Facts: New Jersey

​​​​​​Performance Breakdown
  • Law & Policy: 68% of metrics met
     
    • Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness: 83% of metrics met 
       

    • Preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems: 71% of metrics met 
       

    • Providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently: 88% of metrics met
       

    • Addressing the educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness: 33% of metrics met 
       

    • Allowing youth experiencing homelessness to access critical supports and services: 56% of metrics met 
       

  • Systems: 61% of metrics met 
     
  • Environment: 24% of metrics met

State Score 2021: 59
State Ranking 2021: 16

2021 Score

2020 Score

62

59

New Jersey Highlights

Some areas where New Jersey has moved the needle relative to other states include preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems and providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently.

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Law & Policy

  • The state has a state Runaway & Homeless Youth Act.

  • The state doesn’t consider running away a criminal offense.

  •  State law provides youth experiencing homelessness some contract rights.

  • The state allows unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage on their own.

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Systems​​

  • There is a current state plan to end homelessness.

    • The state plan has a "youth" component.

  • The state provides tuition waivers for foster youth.

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Environment

  • The state promotes safe and inclusive environments in child welfare and juvenile justice programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • The state has banned conversion therapy for minors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. 

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Granite State, with emphasis on the Environment category.

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Law & Policy

  • The state should explicitly allow partial and alternative school credit accrual for homeless youth through regulations.

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Systems

  • The state should update the state plan to end homelessness to include strategies specific to LGBTQ+ youth.

  • The state should allow youth to obtain state-issued ID without parental consent.

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Environment

  • The state should establish and maintain a stipended community advisory board for youth that informs youth homelessness policy (Youth Action Board).

  • The state should require training about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, healthy sexual development or issues specific to LGBTQ+ youth for staff working in RHY Systems.

  • The state should establish nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ youth in youth homelessness services.

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