Homelessness up 18 percent in ND

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BISMARCK—Homelessness increased in North Dakota this year, according to new federal estimates released Wednesday, Dec. 6.

On a single night in January, state and local planning agencies in North Dakota reported 1,089 people were homeless, an 18 percent jump from 2016, according the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Although most were found in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs, 331 people were unsheltered.

In breaking down the homeless count, there was a 26 percent jump in individuals without a permanent home in North Dakota. That was the largest percentage increase in the country.

The number of people in families with children experiencing homelessness dropped 1.5 percent since 2016 in the state, while veteran homelessness decreased 36.2 percent.

The number of homeless youth and children was counted as 80. HUD and local communities launched a more intense effort to count homeless youth this year, a difficult to count population. But it will serve as a baseline to track progress in reducing the number of youth without homes.

Nationwide, homelessness increased for the first time in seven years, HUD said. Soaring rents is found to be one major reason for the increase, especially in the western United States.