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Information about Homelessness

ALICE Project NJ

ALICE is an acronym which stands for Asset Limited Income Constrained Working and represents a growing number of families and individuals around the nation who are working but still cannot afford the basic necessities of housing, food, childcare, health care and transportation.  United Way created a study, as their mission states,  “to make the invisible visible by shining a light on the true number of families struggling in the U.S. We aim to change the national dialogue about the impact on families, communities, and all of us when financial crisis is the norm for so many.” Learn more.

Out of Reach

The lack of affordable housing is a major issue effecting almost every family experiencing homelessness.  Just to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment in Bergen County a family needs to be making over $28 per hour. Out of Reach documents the gap between renters’ wages and the cost of housing. To see New Jersey’s report click here.


Additional Information

Ministry of Presence

Many volunteers ask what they should be ‘doing’ when they volunteer with the families.  We’d like you to understand that your mere presence is valuable and extremely helpful to the families.  Click here to learn more.

Words on Gratitude

Sometimes volunteers are upset when families don’t appear grateful for their efforts.  For more information on this topic click here.


Lending Library

Family Promise owns a limited number of copies of the following books and is happy to lend them to anyone interested in learning more about homelessness and poverty.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, Linda Tirado

The Working Poor: Invisible in America, David K. Shipler

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, Barbara Ehrenreich

$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer

Toxic Charity, Robert D. Lupton

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Homeless Children and Families in Small-Town America, Yvonne M. Vissing

The New Poverty: Homeless Families in America, Ralph de Costa Nunez

Hopes, Dreams & Promise: The Future of Homeless Children in America, Ralph de Costa Nunez

The American Family Inn Handbook: A How-To Guide, Ralph de Costa Nunez

A Shelter is Not a Home-Or Is It? Lessons from Family Homelessness in New York City, Ralph de Costa Nunez

Beyond the Shelter Wall: Homeless Families Speak Out, Ralph de Costa Nunez 

Moving Out, Moving Up: Families Beyond Shelter,  Ralph de Costa Nunez