A shocking report released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development indicates that Idaho's homeless population jumped 34 percent from 2007 to 2010, the fourth largest increase in the nation.
The analysis, 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, listed Idaho's 2010 homeless population at 2,346. The report said 1,546 homeless were sheltered in Idaho but 782 were unsheltered.
Nationally, 649,917 were reported to be homeless in 2010, a 3 percent drop from 2007. The data count for sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night is usually conducted at the end of January. The number of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in America increased by 1.1 percent over the last year.
Earlier this month, Bill Roscoe, executive director of the Boise Rescue Mission, said, "Sleeping outside in Boise is a choice," adding that the River of Life men's shelter and City Light women's shelter should always have some space available. In 2010, the mission reportedly provided 126,300 "bed nights" and more than 340,000 meals with no direct government funding.