NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA) — Several agencies in Northwest Arkansas are working to end veteran homelessness.
Although the number of those homeless is increasing in some cities, it’s declined as a whole since 2007, according to The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Almost half of all unsheltered homeless people are found in California, according to The State of Homelessness in America report released by The White House.
Estimated statistics released by HUD show homelessness declined 15 percent between 2007 and 2018. More than 647,200 people were homeless in 2007, and 552,830 people were homeless in 2018. The most recent data was released in 2018.
Despite recent increases in unsheltered homelessness, 24 percent fewer people experienced homelessness in unsheltered locations during 2018 than in 2007, according to HUD. Sheltered homelessness declined by eight percent during the same timeframe.
HUD also categorizes the statistics by age.
About 65 percent stay in shelters while 35 percent stayed in unsheltered locations, according to HUD.
Shelby Koshy, director of the Hope Housing Program with 7Hills Homeless Center said local shelters have set a goal to end homelessness in our community.
“We’ve set this goal to end veteran homelessness but we also have a goal to end homelessness in our community, and through this collaboration, we’re doing that.. and the numbers show that,” Koshy said.
National numbers show homelessness plateaued between 2017 and 2018. It increased by less than one percent. HUD states, “The slight increase in overall homelessness can be entirely attributed to an increase in the number of unsheltered individuals.”
Koshy said 7Hills always accepts donations and is in need of volunteers.