DENVER (CBS4)– A new report from a non-partisan research organization shows a 25% increase in people living on the streets in the Denver metro area in the last four years. The report from the Common Sense Institute looks into Colorado’s economic spending and planning to accommodate those experiencing homelessness.

(credit: CBS)

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The increase in homelessness was recorded from January 2017 to January 2020, before the pandemic even began. That number is expected to be higher now.

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The report also shows 10% of the homeless population in the Denver metro area are veterans, 30% have a substance abuse concern and 36% have a mental health concern.

(credit: CBS)

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The state of Colorado has proposed to spend a half-billion dollars in funding from the American Rescue Plan to create affordable housing and support the homeless population. At least $480 million is spent annually on shelters, services and emergency response to homelessness.