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On any given night, it is estimated that over 560,00 people are without a place to call home in America. In 2015, a survey was conducted on one night in October by Wilder Research, which resulted in a count of 9,312 people without a home in Minnesota. This is the first decrease (9% from 2012) in the number of people experiencing homelessness since the Great Recession and the Sub-Prime Mortgage collapse. Each of those 9,312 people has a story and more inter-sectional demographic characteristics.

  • 3,296 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 992 youth (age 21 and younger) on their own, down from 1,151 in 2012; 213 of the youth were age 17 and younger; 779 age 18 through 21.
  • Collectively, children and youth make up 46% of the homeless population.
  • 4,108 adults between 21 and 54 were homeless on the night of the count.
  • 843 adults over the age of 54 were counted in the survey, which is the fastest growing population of people experiencing homelessness.
  • The most common reason, 66% of the time, adults age 18 or older left their last housing was due to lack of job security or insufficient income.
  • Adults age 18 or older had a median income of $550 during the month of the study, and could afford an average of $387 per month in rent (one in five could not pay anything for rent).

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. The plan ends this year and we have made some substantial improvements, examples include:

  • Over 100 people housed through St. Stephen’s Street Outreach a year. Between 2008 and 2009, there was a 14% reduction in police arrest for people without a permanent address.  (Plan Goal: Outreach)
  • Since 2007 over 3,697 new housing units were created with many more units from private landlords leveraged for moving people into housing from the shelter. (Plan Goal: Housing)
  • The county has hosted 15 Project Homeless Connect events, each event serving 500 to 2,800 people. Connecting them with services from over 100 providers and immediate needs like hair cuts and physical health services. (Plan Goal: Service Delivery)
  • Reduced price Metro Transit tokens have helped people take roughly 500,000 trips annually to get to work, school, and new homes.  (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

National Alliance to End Homelessness

Wilder Research

Heading Home Hennepin