ThinkProgress wrote that homelessness fell at the beginning of 2014 compared to 2013 by 13,344 people, according to the latest data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
In the annual point-in-time count of the country’s homeless population in January of 2014, there were still 578,424 homeless people.
According to the HUD website: “More than 1 million persons are served in HUD-supported emergency, transitional and permanent housing programs each year. The total number of persons who experience homelessness may be twice as high. There are four federally defined categories under which individuals and families may qualify as homeless: 1) literally homeless; 2) imminent risk of homelessness; 3) homeless under other Federal statues; and 4) fleeing/attempting to flee domestic violence.”
The “point-in-time” survey is how many are homeless at one specific point in time. For example, some people may be homeless for a couple of months. That is why the yearly figure is higher than the “point-in-time” figure.