US homelessness down with new program, cooperation

US homelessness down with new program, cooperation

Based on a "point-in-time" count conducted in January that offers a snapshot of homelessness in D.C. and other jurisdictions, HUD's annual "homeless assessment report" to Congress finds that the number of homeless people in the District rose 14.4 percent between 2015 and 2016-one of the highest increases in the country.

Overall, one in five homeless people in the USA lives in New York City or Los Angeles, said a Wall Street Journal report.

Many homeless people say they actually prefer living on the street, according to a report by the New York Daily News, because shelters can be unsafe and violent: Records from New York City roughly five so-called "critical incidents" in the city's shelter system each day. Most of the people (1,252) were in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs and 135 people were not in shelters.

The total number of homeless people the HUD measured on the one night in January 2016 was 549,928.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development said Thursday many cities in the West are struggling with homelessness.

Overall, California also topped the nation in terms of the number of chronically homeless individuals (29,802), the report said, followed by Florida (5,415), NY (4,112) and Texas (3,534). The housing agency defines people's homelessness as chronic if they are disabled, out of a home for a year or homeless four times in three years. "The work on family homelessness is impressive ... certainly they are focusing on single adults but clearly not showing progress yet". The city of Los Angeles had just shy of 13,000 such individuals.

Suchar said Los Angeles, though recording the increase in chronically homeless people, had made good progress in reducing the numbers of veterans and families in the streets. Some say officials should lend more funding to transitional housing, which has served as a proven way to support individuals as they try to change their own situations. "Since 2010, there has been a 38 percent decrease in overall homelessness in the state".

Nationwide, veteran homelessness has decreased dramatically in the last several years.

The report does not include the number of families who are house insecure, spending more than half of their income on rent or staying with other family members and friends. Both of these are seen as signs that someone could become homeless soon.

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