RICHMOND -- New numbers from the governor's office show a big improvement in dealing with homelessness across the commonwealth. However the Union Mission, which works with the homeless, says it has actually seen an increase.
According to Gov. Bob McDonnell, homelessness among the general population is down 16 percent over the past three years. And, among military veterans, homelessness in Virginia is down 9 percent.
McDonnell today called the statistics "really significant."
However, Union Mission Ministries in Norfolk says its experience with homelessness trends has been exactly the opposite, according to spokesperson Linda Jones.
"While we applaud the governor's efforts and those that are working to end the cause of homelessness, we're seeing our numbers are going up. I look back over from 2010 to 2013, I've seen 5 to 7 to 8 percent increases every year, and we're sleeping over a hundred on the floor."
Jones adds, "It's a lack of bed space. We're turning away people, families, because we don't have a place to sleep them. So we're seeing the need rise, actually."
Jones says she believes the slow recovery from the recession has contributed to the problem. She urges Hampton Roads residents who are in a position to make donations to consider giving to a homeless charity of their choice.