Men accounted for the largest portion at 11,120, followed by women numbering 7,092, the city government reported.
Only 2,077 homeless were returned to their families. 6,165 were adopted by new families, 3,911 died of natural causes or diseases, and 6,471 were put down after a failure to locate their original or new families within 10 days, the maximum time allowed for them to remain in shelters.
Last year the city government took steps to make the collection of nuts and berries in national parks a criminal offense, in a largely unsuccessful move widely interpreted as an attempt to remove hungry homeless people from public view, and earlier this year a court ruled that abandoning homeless people to die is not a crime, if it is not your job help them, which it isn't.
But surveys have consistently shown that dead people on the street is not good for tourism, so it is hoped that the shelters will offer a solution to the problem. Meanwhile the government says it will tackle the growing problem of stray dogs on the nation's streets by imposing lengthy prison sentences on anyone found guilty of neglecting animals.
More stray animals sent to shelters
'Abandoning homeless to die is not crime'
Animal abuse becoming extreme, rampant
Students caught killing dogs for 'fun'
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