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HUD: Annual count shows fewer homeless people in Indiana

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Children on a bus look at homeless people in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles

- Meanwhile, local communities in IL report the number of persons experiencing long-term chronic homelessness increased by 44 percent ( or 451 individuals ) and homeless Veterans decreased by 85 or 9% since 2016.

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.

The most alarming outcome 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. A shortage of affordable housing was partially responsible. Since 2010 homeless people in families decreased by 42.8 percent ( 2,923 ).

In response to HUD releasing its annual Point-in-Time count announcing that homelessness has increased nationally for the first time since 2010, and although Chicago Coalition for the Homeless ( CCH ) does not doubt that homelessness on the rise, CCH Director of Policy Julie Dworkin said "we have always had serious concerns about the validity of the Point-in-Time count as an accurate reflection of trends in homelessness from year to year". HUD says Indiana's homeless veteran population has fallen 20 percent since 2010.

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. 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 San Diego, the homeless population increased 5 percent.

"We are turning families away", he said.

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The report found that 553,742 people experienced homelessness nationwide on a single night in 2017, an increase of.7 percent since a year ago.

With 9,160 homeless people, the county has the fourth-largest population of any region in the nation, trailing only New York City (76,501), Los Angeles County (55,188) and Seattle/King County (11,643). It does not take into account families and individuals who might experience homelessness at other times during the year.

But Mayor Eric Garcetti said that insufficient federal funding for affordable housing and anti-homelessness programs are part of the reason for the city's current crisis.

HUD's national estimate is based upon data reported by approximately 3,000 cities and counties across the nation.

Nationwide, the homeless population went up 0.7 percent, to 553,742. That number has increased each year since 2014. On a single night in January, 40,056 veterans were experiencing homelessness. Veteran homelessness decreased 9 percent ( or 85 persons ) since January 2016.

HUD says more than 4,800 of Indiana's homeless residents were found in emergency shelters or transitional housing and almost 570 were living on the streets.

HUD's 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that nationwide more than 550,000 people experienced homelessness on a single night in 2017.

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