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US Homeless Count Rises To 554K, Pushed By Crisis On The West Coast

Removal Of Homeless Begins In Santa Ana Riverbed
Homeless people living along the Santa Ana Riverbed in Orange County. Nov. 10, 2017. (Cooper Rummell/KNX 1070)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nation's homeless population increased this year for the first time since 2010, driven by a surge in the number of people living on the streets in Los Angeles and other West Coast cities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released a report Wednesday showing nearly 554,000 homeless people across the country during local tallies conducted in January.

That figure is up nearly 1 percent from 2016.

The number of homeless with no access to nightly shelters who instead stay in vehicles, tents, on the streets or in abandoned buildings also is up — by more than 9 percent compared to two years ago.

Increases are higher in Los Angeles and several other West Coast cities, driven by soaring rents.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast rewritten or redistributed.)

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