What is the prevalence of homelessness in Minnesota? What are the circumstances that led to those experiencing homelessness? Is there anything we can do?
Wilder Research conducted a study in October of 2018 which included 4,279 face-to-face interviews and a head count of people experiencing homelessness. On one single night (October 25, 2018), Wilder Research counted 10,233 people experiencing homelessness. Back in 2015, the head count in a single night was at an estimated 9,312, and has continued to rise at an alarming rate of 10%. Homelessness by age group is also alarming: 43% are between the ages of 25 and 54, 10% are adults over the age of 55, 15% are unaccompanied youth ages 24 and younger, and 32% are children ages 17 and younger with parents. While these numbers remain steady, children and youth are the most dis-proportionally affected by homelessness.
The face-to-face interviews conducted by Wilder Research helps us understand the contributing factors that have led so many people to these living conditions. The most prevalent reason is the availability of affordable housing, so limited resources for affordable housing is the foundation of the change we need to see. Another prevalent reason is the fact that the majority of the homeless population has a chronic mental or physical health condition. This is a direct correlation, because those who lack the capacity to sustain employment ultimately have little to no income. These are only a couple of factors listed, but you can read the rest along with additional statistics at Homelessness in Minnesota.
What can we do?
When it comes to this public issue, there are many things that we can do as individuals to help those who face difficult odds. From giving donations, to handing out food, to volunteering, there are a multitude of ways we can have a positive impact. Simply Google how you can help in an area near you and support those who could use your help.