Number of homeless veterans in Arizona declines for third straight year

Nov 1, 2018, 1:00 PM

(Facebook/Central Arizona Shelter Services)...

(Facebook/Central Arizona Shelter Services)

(Facebook/Central Arizona Shelter Services)

PHOENIX – The number of homeless veterans in Arizona fell for the third consecutive year in 2018, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

There were an estimated 893 homeless veterans in the state this year, a decrease of 7.9 percent from the 970 recorded in 2017.

The 2018 figure was the lowest for Arizona since 2014, when the number was 858. It jumped to 1,220 in 2015 but has declined each year since then.

About half of the state’s homeless veterans in 2018, 413, were in metro Phoenix. That was down 15.5 percent from the 2017 total of 489 and ended three-year stretch of increases in the Valley.

Veteran homelessness declined faster in the past year in Arizona than in the country at large, where the drop was 5.4 percent.

“We’ve made great strides in our efforts to end veteran homelessness, but we still have a lot of work to do to ensure those who wore our nation’s uniform have access to stable housing,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a press release.

The release said the numbers are calculated each year when thousands of communities conduct one-night estimates based on the number of veterans in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and in unsheltered locations.

The U.S. total has fallen by nearly 50 percent since 2010. HUD attributed the decline to a voucher program that started in 2008 and provides rental assistance and other services for veterans.

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Number of homeless veterans in Arizona declines for third straight year