DENVER (KDVR) — The homeless population in the Denver metro has increased over the past 14 years.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Point-In-Time count, there were nearly 7,000 homeless people in the Denver metro on a single January night this year, a 14-year record. Advocates say these counts understate the case and there may be as many as 30,000 unhoused people in the metro area.
HUD’s report compared the growth of homeless populations to several other cities that have put new plans and policies in place to address the issue over the last decade, including Rockford, Illinois; San Antonio; Houston; and Washington, D.C.
Houston and Washington, D.C. both saw their homeless populations decrease across three comparisons: 10 years, five years and three years.
San Antonio had more limited success, with the homeless population increasing over the longer-term 10-year measurement and the short-term three-year measurement. But when reviewing the five-year measurement, there has been a reduction in the Texas city.
Of the four metros, only the Denver area had consistent, sustained growth in the homeless population across all three comparisons.
Leaders from Denver, Aurora and several other neighboring communities recently traveled to Houston to study the city’s success so they can develop plans. Aurora City Council is expected to consider a new plan during its meeting on Oct. 24.