LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 30, 2014) – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro announced on Thursday HUD's latest estimate of homelessness in the U.S., noting a continued overall decline in the total number of persons experiencing homelessness and significant reductions particularly among veterans and those persons living on the streets. In Arkansas, homelessness had declined by 23 percent since last year.
HUD's 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress finds that there were 578,424 persons experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2014 in the U.S. During this same one-night period, local homeless planning agencies reported that there were 2,936 persons experiencing homelessness throughout Arkansas.
HUD's annual 'point-in-time' estimates seek to measure the scope of homelessness on a single night in January. Based on data reported by state and local planning agencies across the country, last January's one-night estimate reveals a 33 percent drop in homelessness among veterans since 2010 and a 10.5 percent decline since last year. State and local communities throughout the U.S. also reported a 15 percent decline in the number of families with children experiencing homelessness since 2010, as well as a 53 percent reduction among these families who were found be to unsheltered.
During one night in late January of 2014, volunteers across the nation conducted a one-night count of their local sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations. These one-night 'snapshot' counts are then reported to HUD as part of state and local grant applications. While the data reported to HUD does not directly determine the level of a community's grant funding, these estimates, as well as full-year counts, are crucial in understanding the scope of homelessness and measuring progress in reducing it.
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