Homelessness down in Georgia, still an issue that needs a "community-wide effort"

Homelessness is down in Georgia but is still an issue that needs a "community-wide effort"/Jennifer Munoz (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are more people living on the streets across the US, except in Georgia.

The HUD has confirmed that overall, the state is one a few seeing the largest decline in homelessness.

This year there are over 10,000 homeless people living on the streets in Georgia, a 21 percent decline from last year.

Sister Theresa Sulluvan with Daybreak said that despite the statewide decrease, homelessness is still a very significant issue.

"It's continuing to open our eyes to realize it is an issue. Also realize sometimes it's the person right next to you that you don't realize they slept outside last night," Sulluvan said.

The shelter sees on average 75 to 125 people every day.

Organizations like Daybreak and the Rescue Mission emphasize that there needs to be a community-wide effort.

Sulluvan said, "An important thing that a community can do together is get involved. Call, find out where can you volunteer. What is it you can do?"

The federal government said that drugs, alcohol and health problems are the leading causes of homelessness.

Philip Daniel said that this used to be him until he hit bottom.

"Drugs, alcohol it was just that life I was living and getting caught over and over again," Daniel said.

Daniel lived on the streets off and on for more than 20 years. Now he is getting ready to graduate from the Rescue Mission's rehabilitation program.

Several homeless rescue organizations have joined together, and next month they will unveil a new common assessment plan to help place people into homes.

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