Homelessness Drops in U.S., Atlanta

Nov 21, 2013

Homelessness in Georgia and the nation continues to see a "steady and significant” decrease, according to a report released Thursday by the federal Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.  

Homeless rates in Georgia and the nation dropped in 2013.

Nationwide, chronic homelessness is down 16% from 2010 with drops in rates among veterans even greater.

In Georgia, the number of homeless decreased by nearly 3,000 over the same period.  The latest data show 16,971 Georgians are considered homeless.  In Fulton, DeKalb and Cobb Counties, rates dropped 21%. The three counties account for about a third of the state's overall homeless population. 

Speaking to reporters on a conference call Thursday afternoon, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan warned Congress’s plan to cut funding for homeless initiatives would slow or reverse years of progress.  He called the proposed 5% reduction in the 2014 budget, “perverse.”

“We know it costs more for a chronically homeless individual to be living on our streets than to be housed in [current], effective ways," Donovan said.  "So there’s no excuse for these cuts to continue.”

Donovan said a 5% cut would greatly complicate the President’s promise to end homelessness by 2020.