Report says county has nation's fourth-largest homeless populaton

Report says county has nation's fourth-largest homeless populaton

Homelessness declined 10.4 percent in MA according to the latest national estimate by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Since 2010, however, veteran homelessness in IL declined by 23.7 percent and by almost 46% nationally. It is an annual count, it uses extrapolation techniques to capture people that are not directly counted, and it includes doubled-up households not in the shelter system.

The data also shows more of those people are going unsheltered compared to previous year, meaning they're likely sleeping on the streets.

Excluding the Los Angeles region, total homelessness nationwide would have been down by about 1.5 percent compared with 2016. But some states saw big increases in homeless population, including North Dakota, California, New Mexico and Vermont.

Increases are higher in several West Coast cities, where the explosion in homelessness has prompted at least 10 city and county governments to declare states of emergency since 2015.

Rents have soared beyond affordability for many lower-wage workers who until just a just few years ago could typically find a place to stay.

"In many high-cost areas of our country, especially along the West Coast, the severe shortage of affordable housing is manifesting itself on our streets", said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. OR saw a 5 percent increase this year, while in Washington the homeless population rose to 21,112 - an increase of 1 percent over the previous year.

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In California, the number of people living without permanent shelter rose by almost 14percent, the report shows. Four out of every five homeless individuals there are considered unsheltered, leaving tens of thousands of people with no place to sleep other than the streets or parks.

In Utah, 2,852 people were homeless in 2017 according to the report.

Figures show Wyoming's homeless population continues to rise. Homelessness among families with children decreased by 15.2 percent ( or 700 ) across the state since 2016.

Those places that saw a dwindling homelessness included Atlanta, Philadelphia, Miami, the Denver area and Hawaii.

Back in January, a local point-in-time count found that 11,643 were experiencing homelessness in King County. "While we have made significant strides in reducing the number of individuals experiencing homelessness, we must remain committed to implementing strategies that make it a rare, brief and non-recurring event".

Those who work regularly with the homeless said it is certainly an undercount, although many advocates and officials argued that the result correctly identifies trend lines.

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