(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)— The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released its annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress on Monday and numbers trended downward in Missouri.
The report found that 5,883 people in Missouri experienced homelessness on a single night in 2018— a decrease of 2.6 percent since last year.
A total of 4,669 homeless people were unsheltered while 1,214 people were located in emergency shelters or traditional housing programs.
The report also found that families with children also trended down— declining nearly 5.8 percent since last year.
Chronic or long-term homelessness decreased 4 percent.
Locally, homelessness continues to problem, but one local shelter director says that the decline in numbers is likely due to efforts to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.
"I think because of the effort of our community and probably other one's in Missouri, that's what you are seeing more of," Jill Miller, Executive Director of Community Missions said. "They are trying to get them assistance before they become homeless."
A report will be done in January to assess the homeless count in St. Joseph.