SAN DIEGO (AP) – The number of homeless veterans across the U.S. declined more than 5 percent over the past year after a slight rise in 2017. The departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs announced Thursday that the number of homeless vets dropped to about 38,000. The veteran homelessness count happened in January. The number was about half of those counted in 2009. The departments say as many as 64 communities and Virginia, Delaware and Connecticut effectively ended veteran homelessness. That means all homeless veterans in those areas had been offered homes, even if some didn’t accept them. The Obama administration set a goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson says the Trump administration will not set a specific date to reach that goal.