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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

San Diego’s Homeless Population Growing

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A local agency’s report shows the homeless population is growing in San Diego County despite a decline in homelessness nationally.

— A local agency’s report shows the homeless population is growing in San Diego County despite a decline in homelessness nationally.

An annual count conducted by San Diego’s Regional Task Force on the Homeless found 8,500 people sleeping on the streets or in shelters across the county this year. That’s about 600 more people than task force volunteers counted in 2009.

Peter Callstrom, the task force's executive director said the jump is due, in part, to the ongoing recession.

“Obviously, when you have 10-percent-plus unemployment and folks who are losing their jobs are, in many cases, check to check this puts a whole lot of people at risk,” he said.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Wednesday that there were fewer homeless people across the country in 2009 than in 2008.

Callstrom said one thing both reports showed was an increase in the number of homeless families.

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