Report: Homelessness Up in Wyoming for 2017
A federal report shows an increase in homelessness for Wyoming compared to last year, a problem that has increased by more than half since 2010.
Wyoming communities reported a total of 873 people who experienced homelessness on a single night in 2017, for a statewide increase of 1.9 percent from 2016. That's according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Since 2010, homelessness in Wyoming has increased by 50.8 percent. In 2017, 15 in every 10,000 people in Wyoming experienced homelessness.
"This is not a federal problem -- it's everybody's problem," U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement.
Of the people who experienced homelessness on a single night in January 2017, 510 were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs. That means 363 spent the night without shelter.
Among persons in families with children, homelessness declined 26.2 percent in Wyoming since last year. Statewide, the total number of people in families with children experiencing homelessness stood at 251 for 2017.
Of those 251 people, 124 were unsheltered. Compared to the other 49 states, Wyoming has the third-highest rate of unsheltered people in families with children, at 49.4 percent.
Since 2010, homelessness among families with children in Wyoming has declined four-tenths of one percent.
The number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children in Wyoming for 2017 is estimated at 62, the report says. The department says that this year, it launched a more intense effort to track that "important, difficult to count population," and will treat 2017 as a baseline year for the purposes of tracking progress toward reducing youth homelessness.
Homelessness among Wyoming military veterans is down by 27.6 percent -- 24 people -- from 2016. Since 2010, homelessness among veterans in the state fell 25.9 percent.
On a single night in January, 63 Wyoming veterans experienced homelessness.
The number of people experiencing chronic homelessness statewide fell by 25.3 percent since last year, according to the report, and has decreased by 32.7 percent since 2010.
The number of people dealing with chronic homelessness in Wyoming stood at 14 for 2017. Of those 14, the report says none were without shelter -- leaving Wyoming and Maine as the only states with no unsheltered, chronically homeless individuals.
"The lack of affordable housing in the Rocky Mountain Region has meant that more people are experiencing homelessness," HUD Rocky Mountain Deputy Regional Administrator Eric Cobb said in a statement. "It is more important than ever that we work together to create and maintain affordable housing to ensure that the families, veterans, and youth of our communities have quality places to live."
"In many high-cost areas of our country, especially along the West Coast, the severe shortage of affordable housing is manifesting itself on our streets," said HUD Secretary Ben Carson in the same statement. "With rents rising faster than incomes, we need to bring everybody to the table to produce more affordable housing and ease the pressure that is forcing too many of our neighbors into our shelters and onto our streets."