The number of homeless people in Colorado increased nearly 11 percent between 2011 and 2012, while the national homeless rate remained largely unchanged, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In metro Denver, the problem is worse.
Thenumber of people sleeping on the streets more than doubled between 2011 and 2012, according to the 2012 Point in Time report from Metro Denver Homeless Initiative, to 964 from 411.
"There was a slight increase in the newly homeless and those homeless for the first time," said Linda Barringer, a MDHI board member.
Newly homeless is defined as being homeless within the past 30 days. The first-time homeless person may have been without housing for a much longer period but had not been homeless before.
In Colorado, the situation of homeless veterans is improving, decreasing 27 percent between 2011 and 2012 to 1,512 from 2,074, according to HUD.
In metro Denver, the number of homeless veterans increased slightly, to 12.9 percent from 11.7 percent, according to the MDHI.
But strategy is in place.
"We've seen a lot of effort and a lot of money going into housing vets," said Barringer, who lauds the partnership between HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
In November, the MDHI joined the national movement of communities involved inthe 100,000 Homes campaign, which aims to find permanent homes for 100,000 chronically homeless people by 2014.