Number of homeless double that of a decade ago

February 02, 2000
One of every 100 Americans used a homeless service -- from emergency shelters to soup kitchens -- at some point during 1996, nearly double the number from a decade before, a study estimates.
     From 2.3 million to 3.5 million people were homeless at least once in 1996, the most recent year for which data are available. That compares with 1.4 million-1.8 million in 1987, according to the Urban Institute.
     ''The general trend is that they've gone up,'' says Nan Roman of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. ''That's really a frightening finding.''
     The institute, a liberal-leaning research center, based its findings on information provided by homeless persons and agencies that provide help to the homeless. The data were collected by the Census Bureau.