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Around 700 more people living on the street in Knoxville over last 3 months

Data shows that there are around 1,500 people living on the streets in Knoxville.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — In the third quarter of this year, there are more than 1,500 people living on the streets in Knoxville — an increase of nearly 700 people from just a few months ago.

Within those 1,500 people, there are 375 seniors, 235 Veterans, and 196 minors. While this is the street-homelessness count, the total population of people experiencing homelessness was reported to be around 3,656.

The definition of "literally homeless" means a person who lacks a fixed, regular or adequate nighttime residence. They could be sheltered or unsheltered at any given time.

The population of people who are literally homeless has grown by 19% over the past three months. Just in June, the number was 3,053 people without a regular nighttime residence.

In addition to the ones already experiencing some form of homelessness, about 1,000 people are at risk of becoming homeless in the near future. It is consistent with the "at-risk" numbers reported in the second quarter of the year.

Local homeless outreach programs are trying to find shelter for people while connecting them with resources to treat underlying issues. In September, emergency homeless across Knoxville shelters averaged 67% capacity — up from a 59% average in June.

Of the people who used emergency shelters, 65% moved into transitional or permanent supportive housing while 14% went back to homelessness and 21% refused to report their next destination.

The report also dives into the causes of homelessness in Knoxville.

The primary reason was a lack of affordable housing, followed by evictions. Some other causes of homelessness were mental health issues, losing jobs and domestic violence.

The count was reported on the Knoxville Community Dashboard on Homelessness. This data is from the third quarter, which measures homelessness from July 1 to September 30. The dashboard is updated by The City of Knoxville, Knoxville Homeless Management Information System and The University of Tennessee.

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