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Government, Politics & Issues

Homelessness on the decline in Missouri, Illinois

Volunteers look for people experiencing homelessness at the Delmar Loop Metro stop in July 2016 during St. Louis County's summer point-in-time count.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio
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Volunteers look for people experiencing homelessness at the Delmar Loop Metro stop in July during St. Louis County's summer point-in-time count.

This year’s federal homeless count found a 12 percent drop in the number of people experiencing homelessness in Illinois and a 4 percent drop in Missouri compared to last year.

Both states are on a five-year downward trend for homelessness, with Missouri’s count returning to pre-recession numbers. Illinois had one of the sharpest declines nationwide this year.

The numbers were released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of its annual report to Congress on homelessness.

Known as the point-in-time count, local governments and coalitions that receive federal funding from HUD are required to report the number of people experiencing homelessness in their area on a single night in January.

Missouri reported more than 6,000 people experiencing homelessness in 2016 and Illinois had more than 11,000.

According to annual counts reported by coalitions covering the St. Louis region, the number of homeless people in the area has dropped by almost 24 percent since 2011.

The city of St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Clair County, Madison County and St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren Counties all have homeless coalitions known as Continuums of Care.

Follow Camille on Twitter: @cmpcamille.

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