- McClatchy -
Record job losses and foreclosures helped push more than 170,000 families into homeless shelters in 2009, up nearly 30 percent since 2007 when the recession first gripped the nation, a government report released Wednesday shows.
While the total number of homeless people on any given night fell by 5 percent from 2008 to 2009, the number of homeless families increased for the second straight year, according to the 2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress prepared by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"Throughout the course of a year, approximately 1.56 million people found themselves without a place to call home," said Mercedes Marquez, HUD assistant secretary for community planning and development.
The report is the first comprehensive national homeless study to capture the full impact of the economic downturn. It shows how badly the recession has shaken the stability of families nationwide.