November 21, 2016 Inequality ·

Homelessness drops nationally, but advocates skeptical

Originally published by The Hill →

The Hill | The number of Americans living on the streets and in shelters has dropped significantly in recent years, according to a new government report, though more than half a million people are still homeless.

The annual survey conducted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in January found an estimated 549,928 homeless people across the United States. That figure is down from the 630,227 people who were homeless in January 2009, just before President Obama took office, and down from 647,000 in 2007. The number of homeless veterans across the country has dropped almost in half since 2010, when the Department of Housing and Urban Development made a priority of getting veterans off the streets.

The Obama administration kicked off a crusade to reduce homelessness, dubbed Opening Doors, across 19 federal agencies in 2010. Matthew Doherty, who heads the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, said the federal government needs to redouble its spending on the effort to speed progress.

“While our continued progress reinforces that we are on the right path, the data also makes clear that we must increase the pace of that progress,” Doherty said when HUD released the report.

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