More homeless camps in New Jersey

You may remember the tent city in the woods near Lakewood, New Jersey, where about 100 homeless people lived for years before the camp was shut down in 2014.

About 13 of those people are living in the woods once again in two small camps, in Howell Township, just north of Lakewood.

All of the people living there say they have jobs but are just not earning enough to afford an apartment.
Minister Steve Brigham is the leader of one of the tent cities.

"It's a very nice community.  The Township of Howell is very compassionate in allowing the people that want to do the right thing, wanta work, allowing a place like this to exist," Brigham says.  "It's the American way."

The township has now sanctioned the camps, which are on public property, with some caveats.  They want the two camps combined and limit the residents to 15 at a time.  They must also, despite being homeless, pay to get port-a-potties on site.

Brigham enforces strict rules about alcohol and behavior in the camps.

Jack Coles is a resident.

"Very nice, very nice.  The camp's quiet by 9 o'clock," Coles says.  "I wouldn't be in a shelter because people steal your stuff."

On site, is a model of a tiny house that was built by Mennonite carpenters, but this one sits empty.

Brigham says tiny houses could be key to combating the homeless problem but the one at the camp is 103 square feet and state law requires a minimum of 150 square feet for a residence.  That was lowered from 300 square feet a year ago.

Brigham says state laws must be addressed to make it easier to help provide housing for the homeless.