For the third-straight year, there has been a decrease in the number of homeless veterans in Arizona, according to information shared by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday.
In 2018, there were an estimated 893 homeless veterans in the state, which is a 7.9 percent decline from 970 in 2017.
This year’s count was the lowest in Arizona since 2014, when the number was 858. A steep jump in 2015 led to 1,220, but since then there has been a decline in each year that followed.
Less than half of Arizona’s homeless veterans (413) were located in metro Phoenix in 2018. That figure was a 15.5 percent decrease from 489 in 2017. The decline also marked a three-year span in the Valley of increases.
In the U.S., there was a drop in veteran homelessness of 5.4 in 2018.
“We’ve made great strides in our efforts to end veteran homelessness, but we still have a lot of work to do to ensure those who wore our nation’s uniform have access to stable housing,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a press release.
There has been nearly a 50 percent decrease in the U.S. total since 2010, which has been tied to the start of the 2008 voucher program. The program provides veterans with numerous services, including rental assistance.
Each year, the homeless veteran statistics are tallied with one-night estimates across thousands of communities. The data is based on the tally of veterans in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and in unsheltered locations.