Friday, 15 December, 2017

HUD claims decline in homeless count for 2017

Children on a bus look at homeless people in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles Children on a bus look at homeless people in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles
Kenny Thornton | 08 December, 2017, 07:49

Volunteers counted about 600 homeless military veterans.

Homelessness also went up significantly in Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle and Los Angeles, according to HUD's annual snapshot assessment of street populations nationwide.

- The number of unsheltered homeless individuals in 2017 ( 2,135 ) increased by 21.3 percent from 2016 and by 18.5 percent since 2010. Last January, the area counted a total of 55,188 individuals living in sheltered and unsheltered settings-an increase of almost 26 percent over January 2016.

That's a shift, as homeless numbers have gone down in the state every year since 2012.

Team de Blasio's approach to the city's "right to shelter" law is helping the record numbers: Families who once would have let relatives live "doubled up" with them now encourage them to enter the shelter system for a temporary place to stay until the city gives them an emergency grant, puts them in public housing or gets them a Section 8 subsidy. That, too, was an increase from the previous year.

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And that work, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said Wednesday, should be aimed at building more housing - especially along the West Coast and in big cities elsewhere.

He said San Francisco's more encouraging count could be attributed to the city's consolidation of efforts on supportive housing and services over the past year, through the creation of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. Homelessness among families with children decreased by 15.2 percent ( or 700 ) across the state since 2016. Veteran homelessness decreased 9 percent ( or 85 persons ) since January 2016.

- Chronic or long-term homelessness among individuals increased 44.6 percent ( or 418 persons ) over 2016 levels and declined by 36.4 percent since 2010. Since 2010, however, veteran homelessness in IL declined by 23.7 percent and by almost 46% nationally.

The number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children in 2017 is estimated to be 408.

In contrast, the HUD report revealed a long-running decline in homelessness continuing in most other regions. This year, HUD and local communities launched a more intense effort to more accurately account for this important, hard to count population. Of those, 68 percent were living on the streets, by far the worst percentage. "This is not a federal problem-it's everybody's problem". Almost half of them were living unsheltered.

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