Published: Fri, November 18, 2016
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Federal government estimating number of homeless people

Federal government estimating number of homeless people

The nationwide homeless population was 549,928, compared with 564,708 in the previous year, finds the annual report, which tracks the number of homeless people on one given night each year.

Cities and the federal government have tried, sometimes without much success, to alleviate issues of homelessness and housing insecurity for years, and the number of homeless individuals and families have decreased since 2007.

HUD says more than 5,100 of the homeless population was located in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs and almost 700 were living on the streets. One factor is access to affordable housing.

A chronically homeless person is someone who has continuously been without a home for more than a year.

"Every person deserves a safe, stable place to call home", said Secretary Castro. Some advocates for the homeless feel the volunteer-run count underestimates the total, because many homeless people aren't reached or they don't want to admit to being homeless.

HUD estimates Kansas experienced an 8.5 percent reduction among homeless families, a 46 percent drop in veteran homelessness and a 31.3 percent decline in individuals experiencing chronic homelessness, according to the news release. During that time, veteran homelessness fell 47 percent.

They hope communities apply what they've learned helping veterans to other groups with high rates of homelessness.

A new report shows homelessness is continuing to decline across the United States, including in Pennsylvania.

It said increases in the number of homeless were also recorded in several other cities including Seattle, Dallas and the District of Columbia.

"Part of it is related to rental affordability", Castro added, speaking about Los Angeles. The volunteers fanned out across communities in January, interviewing people they found living outside, on the street, in shelters or in transitional housing.

Other key demographic details from the report: In 2016, the reported population of homeless people was almost 40% female, about 60% male and 0.3% transgender; more than 22% Hispanic; about 48% white; about 39% African-American; 7.2% mixed race; 2.8% Native American; 1.6% Pacific Islander; and 1% Asian.

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