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LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Southern Nevada has a lot of homeless people, but numbers from a recent census are in, and things appear to be looking somewhat better.

The 2017 Southern Nevada Homeless Census found 6,490 people living in shelters or on the streets, which is a slight increase compared to last year. It’s still significantly fewer than were found here in 2015 or 2014.

Compared to 2016, the 2017 census found about 280 more homeless people here, an increase of about 4.5 percent. The 2014 and 2015 homeless censuses found more than 7,400 people living in shelters or on our streets.

“Even though the census shows a slight increase compared with last year, it’s good to see that we continue to have fewer homeless people here than we did just a few years ago,” Clark County Social Service Director Michael Pawlak said. “But there’s still a lot of work to do. Through our regional efforts and strong collaboration with our partners in the community, we’ll continue to work to prevent some people from becoming homeless and get more people off of our streets and into assistance programs.”

The homeless was done over two days and nights in January with the help of hundreds of volunteers.

The totals for recent homeless censuses are:

-2017–6,490

-2016–6,208

-2015–7,509

-2014–7,443

-2013–5,954

-2011–8,003

The homeless count is a requirement for federal grants for homeless programs. Southern Nevada received more than $13 million from these grants during the past two years. The homeless census also provides key data indicating the need for such programs and provides a benchmark to measure regional efforts.

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