Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
A homeless person sleeps on the sidewalk

MN homeless population on the rise

Added on Monday, March 25, 2019

new report released by Wilder Research has found that Minnesota’s homeless population is on the rise.

Wilder conducted a point-in-time count and determined that more than 10,200 people are experiencing homelessness in Minnesota. That’s a 10 percent increase over 2015 (9,312 people) and the highest count since Wilder first began its triennial study in 1991 (3,079 people).

About two-thirds of the state’s homeless population is found in the Twin Cities metro area, and the remaining third in Greater Minnesota.

Harbor Light ShelterThankfully, hundreds of people experiencing homelessness are receiving help from The Salvation Army every single day, thanks to your donations and volunteer hours.

The Salvation Army houses more than 350 people every night in Minnesota, such as at our Harbor Light Center in Minneapolis (pictured). We operate a variety of housing centers throughout the state, including the Twin CitiesDuluthRochesterSt. Cloud and Mankato. Additional help is available through rent assistance and transitional housing programs at Salvation Army locations across the state.

homeless campOther key findings from the Wilder report include:

  • Nearly half of people experiencing homelessness are youth ages 24 and younger. (Many of these youth find hope and healing at The Salvation Army Booth Brown House youth housing facility in St. Paul.)
  • Just over 25 percent of the homeless population (2,694 people) are not sleeping in shelters – they are sleeping outside or doubled up (staying with friends or family). That’s a 62 percent increase over 2015.
  • While adults ages 55 and older make up the smallest age group of those experiencing homelessness (1,054 people), they saw the biggest increase in homelessness – up 25 percent since 2015.

The Wilder report represents homeless individuals contacted in emergency shelters, women’s shelters and transitional housing, as well as those found through outreach efforts at encampments, hot meal programs, and elsewhere. Wilder notes that the count underrepresents the total homeless population, since many people outside the traditional shelter system cannot be found.

The Salvation Army Northern Division pledges to do the most good with your gifts of time and money, with 81 cents of every dollar going directly to services. Join us by volunteering or making a donation to support your local community. Stay current on how The Salvation Army is changing lives in Minnesota and North Dakota by signing up for our e-Newsletters.