FARGO, N.D. (AP) — An advocacy group that conducts surveys of homeless people on one day each January says this winter's count was down dramatically over last year.

The North Dakota Coalition for Homeless People on Monday released results of its Jan. 23 survey. It showed 1,258 people who were homeless, down from a record 2,069 in 2013.

The executive director of the group, Michael Carbone, says he credits the drop to an increased number of shelter beds available and new church shelter projects.

Carbone says the largest number of people living without shelter were in the oil patch of northwestern North Dakota, which has the fewest services because the area has not historically had a homeless problem.

Carbone says his group and others are "working hard to correct that."

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