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Study: Increase in Minnesota homelessness since 2015

March 20, 2019 06:35 PM

A study conducted by Wilder Research reports the state of Minnesota has seen 10 percent increase in homelessness since 2015.

The Minnesota Homeless Study, which was released Wednesday, is conducted every three years. The study counts the number of people on a single day staying in emergency shelters, domestic violence shelters and transitional housing programs. 

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"I think some people think that everybody is alike but they aren't," said Michelle Decker Gerrard, the study's co-director. "There is a lot of different stories to tell."

According to the study, which was conducted on Oct. 25, there were a total of 10,233 adults, youth and children experiencing homelessness. There was also a 9 percent increase in homelessness in the Twin Cities and a 13 percent increase in greater Minnesota. 

"There is a tight housing market right now. It's very difficult to get rental housing," Gerrard said.

RELATED: Statewide effort preparing to determine how many homeless in Minnesota

The study also found there was a dramatic increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness who were not in a formal shelter. 

"We're concerned about the growing number of people who are staying outside or temporarily doubling up," Gerrard said. "The population of people staying in shelters is similar to what we saw in 2015, due in part to shelters being at full capacity."

The number of older adults experiencing homelessness also increased considerably. Numbers showed a 25 percent increase since 2015.

"A lot of those people traditionally have a lot of health issues and circumstances that they might not quite be ready for some of the older adult housing," Gerrard said.

Experts said they will now dig into this data and go through thousands of interviews. The hope is to come up with long-term solutions to fight homelessness.

 

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