WASHINGTON, USA -- The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released the latest national estimate of homelessness, highlighting a continuing decline across the nation. HUD’s 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found an overall 11 percent decline in the number of persons experiencing homelessness since 2010, including a 26 percent drop in the number of persons living on the streets.
In the US Virgin Islands, local communities reported a total 337 persons experienced homelessness, representing a 31 percent decline since 2010, the year President Obama launched Opening Doors, the nation’s first-ever comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness.
Nationwide, Veteran homelessness declined 36 percent between 2010 and 2015; family homelessness dropped 19 percent, and chronic homelessness fell 22 percent. Meanwhile in the US Virgin Islands, Veteran homelessness rose 6 percent (between 2011-2015); family homelessness rose 11 percent (between 2010 – 2015); and chronic homelessness fell 94 percent (between 2010-2015).
HUD’s annual report shows that certain communities are making significant progress, while others are struggling in light of the widespread housing affordability crisis, budget shortfalls, or slow adoption of best practices. The results are based on HUD’s ‘point-in-time’ estimates, which seek to measure the scope of homelessness on a single night in January each year.
“The Obama Administration has made an historic commitment to effectively end homelessness in this nation. Together with our partners across the federal government and communities from coast to coast, we have made tremendous progress toward our ambitious goals. But our work is far from finished. We have to continue making smart investments in the strategies that work so that everyone has a roof over their head,” said HUD Secretary Castro.
“We are encouraged by the progress made in the battle to end chronic homelessness in the US Virgin Islands,” said HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr. “There is more work to be done but with dedicated partnership efforts taking place on the ground, we will succeed.”