Homelessness in Triangle edges up

HomelessAt least 1,929 people in the Triangle, including almost 300 children, are living in shelters or on the streets, according to a recent count organized by local agencies.

That’s the second straight increase in homelessness in the area since 2006, when the count stood at 1,720.

During the Point-In-Time Count, conducted by Triangle United Way and other groups serving homeless people, volunteers combed Durham, Orange and Wake counties to count the number of people who were homeless on a particular night.

This year, 291 children, or about 15 percent of the homeless count, were living in shelters, and more than one in 10 of the homeless were veterans who had served in the military.

Another 127 people lived under bridges, in abandoned homes or in outdoor camps, a drop of 30 percent since 2006.

The number of homeless people living in families also fell 11 percent over the past two years, the count says, and the number of chronically homeless people dropped 15 percent to 272.

“Unfortunately, the current economy, the lack of affordable housing, and the growing anecdotal evidence from emergency service providers who are seeing more individuals with mental illness, is impacting the number of single individuals who are finding themselves homeless,” Stan Holt, homeless specialist for Triangle United Way, says in a statement.

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