DUBUQUE — A homeless shelter in Eastern Iowa is facing a growing demand for beds, despite federal figures showing a drop in homeless populations statewide and in some nearby states.

The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports that the Dubuque Rescue Mission is so overwhelmed by the demand that it’s set up beds in hallways and a laundry room. The demand reached its highest point of the past three years in November, when the number of “bed nights” reached 1,980.

That comes even as U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development data show that homeless populations have dropped significantly in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois compared with last year.

The shelter’s director says the rising demand is a result of chronic mental health and substance abuse issues.

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