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Memphis-area homelessness declines

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 21, 2014 at 9:50 a.m.

MEMPHIS — Officials say homelessness in Memphis and Shelby County has dropped because of a campaign aimed at reducing the number of people who live on the streets.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr., Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell and members of the Community Alliance for the Homeless said Thursday that homelessness is down 21 percent overall since 2012.

Officials praised the creation of 73 units of permanent supportive housing that are providing shelter to families who are homeless and facing separation due to child welfare involvement. The property was donated by the Memphis Interfaith Association.

Another contributor to the decline is an emergency hotline for homeless families. Since 2009, students at Rhodes College and other volunteers have answered about 1,500 calls a month from people experiencing a housing crisis.

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