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Safe Environments

New HUD Report Measures Strides and Challenges in Reducing Homelessness

Just weeks ago, the Department of Housing and Urban Development presented a report to Congress showing some strides have been made in reducing homelessness among two key at-risk groups: the chronically homeless and homeless military veterans.

In a recently published story about the report’s findings, The New York Times says that although the number of chronically homeless and homeless veterans has gone down, the government will not be able to reach its goal of eliminating homelessness among those two populations by 2015, as was the original aim of the Interagency Council on Homelessness.

The Times story goes on to say, “As encouraged as I am that overall homelessness is holding steady during this economic period, we can’t be satisfied,” Shaun Donovan, the housing and urban development secretary, wrote in an e-mail. “Every number in this estimate is a person, a family or a veteran living in our shelters or even on our streets. It’s exactly why we have to redouble our efforts to find real and lasting solutions for those facing homelessness.”

The number of chronically homeless people — a particularly at-risk population often in need of mental and physical health services and other safety-net support — fell about 7 percent in 2011 and more than 19 percent since 2007. Homelessness among veterans declined more than 7 percent in 2011 and 17 percent since 2009.

“We are on the right track in the fight to end homelessness among veterans,” Eric K. Shinseki, the secretary of veterans affairs, said in a written statement. “While this is encouraging news, we have more work to do and will not be satisfied until no veteran has to sleep on the street.”

Read the rest of the story on the New York Times website.

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