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More families adding to number of Phoenix homeless

PHOENIX -- The Valley's homeless count has jumped by 11 percent in the past year and for many, including an increasing number of families, it's their first time on the street.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said the Valley has about 6,000 homeless people, which is up by about 650 people from last year.

Irene Augustin, spokeswoman for Central Arizona Shelter Services, said the staff has seen a rise in the number of families who've lost jobs and been forced out of homes.

"There's actually a waiting list for homeless families with our shelter," said Augustin.

Another trend she's seeing is more homelessness among 18 to- 25-year-olds. It's the result of parents who are dealing with hard times financially and can no longer afford to take care of post-high-school-age children living at home.

Augustin said the number of chronically homeless seems to be dropping in Phoenix.

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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