WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- On one night in January, 633,782 people were homeless in the United States, down slightly from 2011, Housing and Urban Development said Monday.
HUD said there was a 0.4 percent decline in homelessness, based on its annual "point-in-time" estimate that tries to measure homelessness during one night every January.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a release communities reported significant declines in the number of homeless veterans and those experiencing long-term or chronic homelessness.
Besides the dip in overall homelessness, data reported by more than 3,000 cities and counties indicated a 7 percent drop in homelessness among veterans and those experiencing long-term or chronic homelessness, HUD officials said.
"We continue to see a stable level of homelessness across our country at a time of great stress for those at risk of losing their housing," Donovan said. "We must redouble our efforts to target our resources more effectively to help those at greatest risk. As our nation's economic recovery takes hold, we will make certain that our homeless veterans and those living on our streets find stable housing so they can get on their path to recovery."
The report indicated five states accounted for nearly half of the nation's population in 2012: California, with 20.7 percent; New York, 11 percent; Florida, 8.7 percent; Texas, 5.4 percent, and Georgia, 3.2 percent.
The Obama administration's plan to end homelessness is called Opening Doors -- a roadmap by 19 federal agencies involved with the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, along with local and state partners in public and private sectors, HUD said. The plan seeks to end veterans and chronic homelessness by 2015, and end homelessness among children, family, and youth by 2020.