Nearly 800 more homeless veterans had gained shelter as of this past January, according to a new assessment released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Tuesday.
The report revealed that 37,085 veterans reported experiencing homelessness in January 2019 compared to 37,878 in January 2018, a 2.1 percent decrease. Of the number of veterans experiencing homelessness in 2019, HUD estimates that 22,740 veterans were living in shelters while 14,345 were living in places not meant for human habitation.
The 2.1 percent decline represents a smaller decrease than in the period between January 2017 and January 2018, when veteran homelessness fell five percent.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson told reporters on Tuesday in New Hampshire that the 50 percent decrease in veteran homelessness over the past decade is mainly due to a collaborative program between HUD and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The HUD-VA Supporting Housing Program, begun in 2008, gives homeless veterans permanent housing while also providing them a case manager and clinical care services.
More than 11,000 homeless veterans have found permanent housing and support services through the HUD-VASH program.
To date, 78 local communities and three states -- Connecticut, Deleware and Virginia -- have declared an effective end to veteran homelessness, according to the VA.
The figures in the report are gathered from communities around the country that conduct one-night "Point-in-time" estimates on the number of homeless veterans in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and in unsheltered locations.
California has 10,980 homeless veterans-- the highest number in the country-- but fewer than a third of them have shelter. The data showed that 7,719 veterans remain unsheltered in the state. Florida, New York and Texas were among the other states with a higher number of homeless veterans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.