Homeless numbers are on the rise in Illinois, while the rest of the country is showing improvement.
According to new data released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 564,708 people in America were homeless in January of this year, resulting in a two percent drop from 2014. Additional statistics show a decline of around 11 percent from 2007.
Statistics show homeless numbers in Illinois climbed a-half-percent from last year, even though numbers had been declining over the past five years.
New Directions Director Vanessa Tyus says more and more people have been coming into the homeless shelter to stay overnight.
Tyus points to the state budget impasse as the main reason for the increase in homeless.
“We’re seeing anywhere from 15 to 30 people a day using services,” says Tyus.
“Last year our numbers were down, but our summer numbers skyrocketed. We are seeing a lot of families asking for services just to survive day to day.”
Tyus says the increase in homeless at New Directions has tightened up the budget for the shelter.
“If we are feeding 25 people breakfast, lunch and dinner then that is 75 paper plates. Our toilet paper, paper towels and soap plays into those increases.”
Tyus notes New Directions does not receive state or federal funding and is run solely off donations from the community.