- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - While homelessness has decreased 9 percent, the director of Maine’s Statewide Homeless Council is urging businesses and the private sector to donate more to make up for a lack of public money.

Cullen Ryan, the acting director of the council, says there’s still a lot of work to be done despite the encouraging decrease. The Kennebec Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2tMWsWy ) Maine experienced a 9 percent reduction in homelessness from fiscal year 2016 to 2017.

There was also a 21 percent reduction in the average length of stay in homelessness and a 14 percent drop in homeless veterans.

The state’s “Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness” calls for everyone who is homeless to secure permanent housing with an adequate support network. Ryan attributes the decrease in homelessness in part to the improving economy.

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