That overall number includes people living in shelters and other facilities, as well as outdoors.
The data also shows more of those people are going unsheltered compared to a year ago, meaning they're likely sleeping on the streets.
At least 10 city and county governments in the West Coast declared states of emergency in response to the explosion in homelessness.
"With rents rising faster than incomes, we need to bring everybody to the table to produce more affordable housing and ease the pressure that is forcing too many of our neighbors into our shelters and onto our streets", Carson suggested.
- Meanwhile, local communities in IL report the number of persons experiencing long-term chronic homelessness increased by 44 percent ( or 451 individuals ) and homeless Veterans decreased by 85 or 9% since 2016. While overall homelessness increased by 0.7% nationally since 2016, since 2010 there was a decline of 13.1%.
The outbreak prompted California officials to declare a state of emergency in October.
The numbers underscore the severity of a problem that stretches from Seattle to San Diego. A shortage of affordable housing was partially responsible.
The veterans' numbers for California: Up 19.4 percent, to 8.5 percent of the total homeless population, with 66.7 percent unsheltered.
Of the latest count, 193,000 people had no access to nightly shelter and instead they were staying in vehicles, tents, the streets and other places defined as uninhabitable. Nationwide, the homeless population grew about 1 percent. That's especially true on the West Coast. Large urban areas like Los Angeles and New York City saw the biggest jump, and homelessness continues to be a serious problem in Western New York.
The report also says the number of homeless veterans in the state is down.
HUD will treat 2017 as a baseline year for purposes of tracking progress toward reducing youth homelessness. That number has increased each year since 2014.
- Chronic or long-term homelessness among individuals increased 44.6 percent ( or 418 persons ) over 2016 levels and declined by 36.4 percent since 2010.
In better news, Utah continues to have one of the lowest rates of veteran homelessness with a 34 percent dip over the a year ago. While imperfect, it attempts to represent how many people are homeless at a given time.
Those who work regularly with the homeless said it is certainly an undercount, although many advocates and officials argued that the result correctly identifies trend lines.
The report is submitted to Congress and used by government agencies as a factor in distributing money for programs created to help the homeless.