WASHINGTON - A new study on homelessness shows a dramatic spike in the D.C. region, revealing a nearly 30 percent increase since 2010 and 57 percent increase since 2007.
Those are some of the biggest hikes in the nation, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The report shows overall homelessness in the U.S. is down.
“HUD’s 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that 549,928 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2016, a decline of 14 percent since 2010, the year the Obama Administration launched Opening Doors, the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness,” the department said in a news release.
The report reveals that 96 percent of D.C.’s homeless population lives in shelters. During a count on a single night, researchers found more than 8,000 people in shelters and just 318 on the street.
Even though camping is illegal in D.C., there are currently about a dozen tents near the Kennedy Center. One man told FOX 5 that he knows there is room at area shelters but he prefers not to sleep in one.
The report also says that homelessness is down about 30 percent in both Maryland and Virginia.