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Posted: Friday, November 13th, 2009 4:35 PM HST

Study: Homelessness growing in Hawaii

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — A new report says the number of Hawaii residents in homeless shelters jumped about 7 percent in the fiscal year ending June 30.

The University of Hawaii Center on the Family's annual homeless service utilization report was released Friday.

It says there were 7,501 island residents in homeless shelters in fiscal 2009. About 39 percent were under age 17.

The report notes the number of people in homeless shelters has now risen five years in row.

A major part of the increase can be attributed to the opening of new homeless shelters, especially along Oahu's Waianae Coast.

But advocates respond by saying the most recent total came in a year when few shelter beds were added. They say it's more proof the ranks of the homeless are growing.

(Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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