Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Louisiana's homeless population declines almost 20% since 2016, according to HUD report

Louisiana's homeless population declines almost 20% since 2016, according to HUD report

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released its annual Point in Time count Wednesday, a report that showed almost 554,000 homeless people across the country during local tallies conducted in January.

Excluding these two areas, the estimated number of Veterans experiencing homeless in other parts of the nation decreased 3.1 percent since 2016.

The most alarming effect of the West Coast homeless explosion is a deadly hepatitis A outbreak that has affected Los Angeles, Santa Cruz and San Diego, the popular tourist destination in a county where more than 5,600 people now live on the streets or in their cars.

Veteran homelessness decreased 4.25 percent since January 2016.

New federal statistics show U.S. homelessness rose slightly this year - driven by a 4 percent jump in New York City and similar increases in Los Angeles and other West Coast cities.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly how much our local homeless population has grown.

Skornogoski also noted a lot of people in the count are chronically homeless and have bigger picture problems such as substance abuse and mental health problems that need to be addressed.

"In addition to general concerns about the Point-in-Time methodology, CCH is particularly concerned about HUD's reporting that homelessness decreased by 6.8% in Illinois", Dworkin said.

In booming Seattle, for example, the HUD report shows the unsheltered population grew by 44 percent over two years to almost 5,500.

He said the Great Falls Rescue Mission Cameron Family Center has been open for less than a year, has 34 family rooms and every one of those rooms is filled.

The annual HUD study is a point-in-time survey based on counts at shelters and on the streets. "Until HUD recognizes the flaws in its Point-in-Time count, we will continue to struggle to have an accurate count of those experiencing homelessness nationwide".

"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", HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement.

"All individuals deserve to have a safe and decent place to call home", said Deputy Regional Administrator James A. Cunningham.

The number of families with children experiencing homelessness declined 5.4 percent since 2016 and 27 percent since 2010.

A new federal report on homelessness in America offers a snapshot of how San Diego County is doing compared with other cities. Every year on a single night in January, tens of thousands of volunteers seek to identify the number of people, including families, living in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and in unsheltered settings.

Nationwide, the homeless population grew about 1 percent.

2,330 were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs while 975 persons were unsheltered.

Besides, in major cities, homelessness jumped by 5 percent in the past year, according to the HUD report. On a single night in January 2017, 383 Veterans were experiencing homelessness.

Chronic or long-term homelessness among individuals increased 12.2 percent over 2016 levels though declined by 18 percent (or 19,100 persons) since 2010. Since 2010, however, veteran homelessness in IL declined by 23.7 percent and by almost 46% nationally.

The annual count found about 300 unaccompanied homeless IN youth and children.

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