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Homeless Figures Don’t Add Up

The headline of the story in Tuesday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal read, “Job loss, foreclosure listed as primary reasons people end up on streets.” Yep, another “homeless” story.

But there’s something rather odd about the “Count of Clark County’s Homeless Population” chart found on page 3AA of the story. The chart compares various categories of homeless folks between 2007 and 2009. And it shows the number of homeless…..

On the streets: Dropped
Living in cars: Dropped
Living in vans or RVs: Dropped
Living in encampments: Dropped
Living in emergency shelters: Dropped

Even the number of estimated “hidden homeless” – whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean – dropped.

Yet the “Total number of homeless individuals counted and projected in study”…..increased.

How is that possible?

Because the number of people “Living in abandoned buildings,” “Renting with county social services assistance,” and “Living in transitional housing” increased.

Now, maybe I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but doesn’t the fact that those people are living in homes mean they are not, by definition, “homeless”? I’m just saying.