On any given night, it is estimated that over 13,100 people are without a place to call home. In 2009, a survey was conducted on one night in October, which resulted in a count of 9,654 people without a home. Wilder Research reported a leveling off of the number of people becoming homeless in the mid-2000s, however, with the occurrence of the Great Recession beginning in 2007, homelessness has increased due to job loss, foreclosures, and more. Who is homeless?
- The number of homeless families with children counted in 2009 was 1,675. This is up 27%.
- In all, 3,251 children were counted with their parents on the night of the survey.
- The average age of children with their parent is 6 and a half.
- The study counted 1,268 youth (age 21 and younger) on their own, up from 867 in 2006; 227 of the youth were age 17 and younger; 1041 age 18 through 21.
- 4,585 adults between 21 and 54 were homeless on the night of the count.
- 526 adults over the age of 54 were counted in the survey.
- 19% of the adults experiencing homeless were veterans.
- Twenty-nine percent of adult homeless women are fleeing domestic violence and 58 percent of those women have children under 18 living with them.
- 21% of unemployed homeless adults identify “lack of employment opportunities” as one of their main reasons for not working (up from 8% in 2006).
- Median monthly income of homeless adults from all sources was $300 in 2009 (down from $400 in 2006).
Heading Home Hennepin, the plan to end homelessness with the involvement of over 120 agencies, has made significant gains in ending individual and system homelessness. Some examples include:
- Over 500 people housed through St. Stephen’s Street Outreach since 2007. Between 2008 and 2009, there was a 14% reduction in police arrest for people without a permanent address. (Plan Goal: Outreach)
- In the first five years of the plan, 2,432 new housing units were created with many more units from private landlords leveraged for moving people into housing from the shelter. (Plan Goal: Housing)
- Since its inceptions, the Employment Collaborative has worked with 160 participants, 93 enrolled in further training, 75 placed in employment with an average wage of $9.93/hour. (Plan Goal: Self-Support)
- Adult Opportunity Center (AOC) and Youth Opportunity Center (YOC): Both centers bring together multiple agencies under one roof to provide a comprehensive set of services to people experiencing homelessness. The Adult Opportunity Center opened in November 2010 and served over 3,800 people in 2011 with almost 75,000 visits. The Youth Opportunity Center opened in March 2011 and served 1,800 people. (Plan Goal: System Improvements)
For more information, go to