Homelessness Across Wisconsin Down 6 Percent Compared To 2015

Decrease In State Is Twice The National Rate
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John Benson (CC BY 2.0)

Data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows homelessness in Wisconsin declined by more than double the national rate this year.

Homelessness across Wisconsin was down about 6 percent this year compared to 2015. However, Joseph Volk, the executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness, continues to worry about homeless youth in the state.

"[Children] are living with their parents in either shelters, vans or buildings or places where they shouldn't be," Volk said.

Volk said more attention needs to be focused on families with children even though helping them is more difficult than helping individuals.

The overall decline shows government efforts across the state focused on reducing chronic homelessness are paying off, said Gina Rodriguez, a public affairs specialist with HUD.

"The different partnerships occurring across both the federal, state, and at the local level, with the nonprofit partners, it's really been a phenomenal way to help to decrease those numbers," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the number of people chronically homeless has dropped by about 62 percent in Wisconsin since 2010.

She said national efforts focused on ending veteran homelessness have been successful as well, and next they plan to target homeless children.

Data shows there are nearly 6,000 people without permanent housing across the state. A little more than 300 of them are youth living on their own.

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