The Latest: Homelessness declining overall; problems in West

AP News
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Posted: Nov 17, 2016 2:38 PM
The Latest: Homelessness declining overall; problems in West

HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on the number of people suffering from homelessness nationwide (all times local):

9:35 a.m.

Homelessness is declining overall in the U.S., according to new data from the federal government.

But there are cities and states where homelessness is on the rise.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development said Thursday many cities in the West are struggling with homelessness. They say a lack of affordable housing and growing problems with opioid addiction are contributing to the problem.

Nationwide, veteran homelessness has decreased dramatically in the last several years. Officials credit a program initiated by President Barack Obama urging communities to have a plan in place to prevent and reduce homelessness.

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

The federal government releases the numbers after volunteers across the country count homeless people in their local areas.

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12:40 a.m.

The federal government is estimating the number of homeless people nationwide.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will announce state-by-state figures Thursday.

Officials say homelessness has declined nationwide in recent years, especially among military veterans. They credit a program initiated by President Barack Obama which urges every community to have a plan in place to prevent and reduce homelessness.

But there are parts of the country such as Hawaii where homelessness has been increasing. The island state is struggling with an affordable housing shortage.

The federal government releases the numbers after volunteers across the country count the homeless people in their local areas. The volunteers count people they find living outside, on the street or in shelters.