- Associated Press - Friday, October 31, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The number of homeless people has declined slightly in Wisconsin, according to a federal report.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report released to Congress on Thursday comes from a one-night count by local homeless advocacy agencies. The agency’s 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report for Wisconsin says the number of homeless people declined nearly 1 percent this year compared to 2013 and dropped about 4.5 percent from 2010.

There were 6,055 homeless people in Wisconsin during the January count, the Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/1rFZ7Hg ) reported. That’s a 0.8 percent decrease from the 6,104 homeless people counted last year.

A brighter spot might be the number of homeless veterans in Wisconsin, which declined 10.5 percent from last year and 33 percent since 2010.

The number of homeless families with children has also decreased, according to the report. There has been a 15 percent drop since 2010, as well as a 53 percent decrease in the number of families found without any kind of shelter.

On a national scale, the one-night count found 578,424 homeless people, a 2.3 percent decrease from last year, the report said.

“As a nation, we are successfully reducing homelessness in this country, especially for those who have been living on our streets as a way of life,” HUD Secretary Juli├ín Castro said.

Although the federal report brings good news, Porchlight Executive Director Steve Schooler said there’s been an increase in homelessness Dane County from 2012 to 2014, according to city survey data. But the number of homeless people without overnight shelter decreased slightly last winter, he said.

Schooler said he’s hopeful that downward trend will recur again this winter.

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Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, https://www.madison.com/wsj

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