Minnesota homeless numbers soar

New data from the Wilder Foundation shows that homelessness in Minnesota is climbing again steeply.

The non-profit's Wilder Research arm found 9,452 homeless adults, youth, and children in shelters, transitional housing, and on the streets, up from 7,751 in 2006.

The results are troubling, but not surprising, given the deep economic recession of the past few years, said study director Greg Owen.

  • The number of homeless families with children increased from 1,318 in 2006 to 1,670 in 2009.
  • The number of homeless youths also showed a marked increase, up to 1,207 from 867 in 2006.
  • African Americans make up about 41 percent of homeless adults statewide, even though they represent about 4 percent of the adult Minnesota population.
  • Eleven percent of the homeless statewide are American Indians, who as a group represent just 1 percent of the overall adult Minnesota population.
  • Nearly 700 homeless adults surveyed reported having served in the armed services.

Wilder Research has counted the state's homeless population every three years since 1991. The numbers released today were the result of a one-day survey in October 2009 conducted by 1,000 volunteers in 400 locations.

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