Should something be done about Hoboken Shanty Town?

Update: I’ve always wondered why the city of Hoboken had a relaxed view about the “homes on the hill” that many people in town refer to as the homeless shanty town.

Homeless shanty towns in Hoboken NJ

Located on the “cliff” on the western edge of north Hoboken, homeless people have set up various mini villages there for a long time.

As you can see by the ever-growing pile of garbage accumulating on hill, it’s quite “unappealing” to the eye. And judging by the type of garbage (those blue plastic shopping bags), it appears that most of that refuse came from a liquor store. Maybe I should add this location to the Hoboken BYOB places?

Hoboken Shanty Town Slobs cliffs 1

What would you do about the shanty town?

You can look at this two ways. One, they’re homeless for God’s sake – they have no home! They’re sort of “out of the way” up there, and as long as they don’t get hit by a train or abduct some unknowing child, perhaps we should leave them alone. Maybe the least we could do is ask them to keep their house in order?

On the other hand – we do have the Hoboken Homeless Shelter which they could use (unless they were “banned”), and as you can see from the video – shanty towns like this can and will burst into flames as they get drunk and carelessly dispose of their cigarette butts, etc.

Does it really matter? Or would the city benefit if this area was cleaned up? Either way – as the spring blossoms, the trees will bloom and all of this will be out of sight soon enough.

Hoboken Shanty Town: Elaborate shacks rivaling some apartments


Hoboken411 reader Ryan thought this might be interesting to read. While riding the Light Rail, he mentioned seeing quite a few of these elaborate “shacks” that have been setup on the cliffs by local Hoboken homeless individuals.

Most Hoboken residents have seen these “hillside condos”, but has anyone actually seen what it’s like inside? If anyone would be interested in doing an “exposé” on what it’s like to live there, please feel free to use my great ideas! I’d consider crossing the tracks to see what it’s like, but would be nice if a group of volunteers came with me.

Regardless, it must be tough, especially in this cold weather. Some of the shacks actually had smoke coming out, as if they were building a fire. I know at one point in the last couple years, there was a pretty big fire in ‘dem hills.

Ryan adds: “Reminded me a little of the Ewok village from Star Wars. These are not your standard cardboard box temporary shelters, but it looks like they have been there for some time. Come to think of it these homes are probably better than my apartment!”

These photos were taken on the west side of Hoboken between 12th and 14th Streets.