Vermont Bucks a National Trend of Lower Homelessness

It looks like Vermont is bucking a national trend toward lower homelessness.  This story was covered in an article today on the Fox 44 News website:

A study finds more Vermonters are homeless, despite nationally the number decreased.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says in a survey of one night in January this year, there were 1,160 homeless people in Vermont. That’s up 16 people from 2011.

The number of homeless veterans was 109, an increase from 81 or 35-percent from last year.

Staff at the Burlington Emergency Shelter say their facility is almost always full and the waiting list seems to be growing.

“We’ve definitely seen a lot more veterans coming into the shelter. We’ve seen a wider range of ages who are in the shelter as well. Younger people all the way up through 70’s too,” says Valerie Brosseau, Burlington Emergency Shelter co-director.

Staff say they aren’t sure what’s behind the increase in homelessness.

They say a variety of reasons forces people onto the street from losing their jobs, mental illnesses, to drugs.

The shelter, which relies completely on donations, is looking to expand to serve more people.

Whatever the reasons are, the trend is not encouraging.