MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Homelessness in Minnesota has reached a record high number, according to a new report that says more than 10,000 people in the state are living in shelters, encampments or on the streets.
Wilder Research, a group that tracks homelessness in Minnesota, says that its most recent findings show that homelessness in the state increased 10 percent from 2015 to 2018.
Every three years, the St. Paul-based Wilder sends out hundreds of volunteers to count the number of homeless people in Minnesota on a single day. The most recent count happened on Oct. 25, when 10,233 people were tallied.
The number tops the previous 2012 high, when 10,214 people were counted. As a rule, Wilder considers its single-day count numbers to be a “minimum count” of the number of homeless in Minnesota.
As part of the 2018 findings, Wilder noticed a 25 percent increase in the number of homeless older adults (those 55 and older). They also noticed a large increase (62 percent) in the number of people not staying in a formal shelters, that is: people found outside, in encampments or in drop-in service sites.
One of the only positive takeaways from the study was that the number of families experiencing homeless dropped 5 percent since 2015.
Still, most of the homeless in Minnesota are children and unaccompanied youth, who make up nearly half of the state’s homeless population. Numbers for this group remained steady since 2015.