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Boston Sees Homeless Count Dip

BOSTON — The city of Boston is touting progress in its effort against homelessness.

Mayor Thomas Menino on Thursday said the city’s latest census count, taken last month, shows there has been a 7 percent reduction in the number of homeless adults, with overall homelessness down 4 percent, compared with last year.

“It’s remarkable in, you know, the worst economic recession since the second world war that we’ve really made good progress,” Lyndia Downie, of the Pine Street Inn shelter, said. “It’s been steady, it’s been slow, it’s been consistent.”

She says the slow and steady decline is tied to deliberate change in strategy.

“For the past — really more than five years — the city, really led by the mayor has been focusing on individuals who have been homeless the longest and trying to get those people into supportive housing,” she said.

The mayor also credits programs such as access to jobs and other support services.

The census shows the most dramatic decrease is in the number of homeless families sheltered in motels: 45 percent fewer than in 2009.

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