Fed Gov't Estimating Number of Homeless

HONOLULU (AP) -- The federal government is estimating the number of homeless people nationwide.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will announce state-by-state figures Thursday.

Officials say homelessness has declined nationwide in recent years, especially among military veterans. They credit a program initiated by President Barack Obama which urges every community to have a plan in place to prevent and reduce homelessness.

But there are parts of the country such as Hawaii where homelessness has been increasing. The island state is struggling with an affordable housing shortage.

The federal government releases the numbers after volunteers across the country count the homeless people in their local areas. The volunteers count people they find living outside, on the street or in shelters.