Report shows scale of Colorado’s homeless increase

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DENVER -- A report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development showcases the scale in which homelessness has increased in Colorado.

According to the report, 37 states decreased homelessness last year. Colorado was not one of them.

Overall, Colorado experienced a 6 percent increase. That ranks seventh in terms of biggest increases in the country.

RELATED: Department of Housing and Urban Development report

Perhaps most surprising is that Colorado experienced the largest increase of any state in veterans homelessness at 24.3 percent.

"People need to realize that there are a tremendous amount of homeless people in downtown Denver," said Todd Coleman, a homeless individual who has been on the streets eight months.

As for the state, it is cognizant more needs to be done. Earlier this month, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced a measure to move $16 million in marijuana tax revenue to build more housing units for homeless individuals.

"We've got a goal of ending homelessness," said Pat Coyle with the Department of Local Affairs. "You are looking at a tight rental market. You are looking at increases in rent."

According to the report, Colorado's numbers still pale in comparison to California and Oregon.

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