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Triangle homeless count rises

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The overall number of homeless people living in the Triangle increased to 1,806 this year from 1,720 a year ago, but the point-in-time count conducted Jan. 24 says the number of chronically homeless fell.

Police, outreach workers, housing providers and volunteers fanned out across Wake, Durham and Orange counties to count the number of homeless men, women and children living in shelters and on the streets on one particular day.

The number of chronically homeless people, those who are disabled and have been homeless for an extended period, dropped to 245 this year from 399 in 2006.

In Wake County, the number of homeless grew to 1,043 from 981, the count says, and Durham County saw an increase to 539 from 502.

However, Orange County experienced a slight decrease, to 224 in 2007 from 237 in 2006.

A lack of affordable housing in the Triangle exacerbates the problem, Craig Chancellor, president and CEO of Triangle United Way, says in a statement.

Citing U.S. Census data, Chancellor say the region needs 47,650 additional affordable housing units to fill the gap created by people who need affordable housing and the number of rentals available.

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