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Start by Knowing Why: 5 Reasons People are Homeless in Minnesota
​While homelessness is an issue that deserves our attention year-round, it often comes into sharper focus when temperatures plummet. As we think more about this issue and how to solve it, it is important to also ask why: Why do people experience homelessness? As researchers, we know that one of the first steps to creating solutions is to gather as much data as we can about a topic. Every three years, Wilder Research conducts a study of homelessness in Minnesota that yields valuable information about the causes and effects of homelessness.   In 2015, Wilder Research counted a total of 9,312 people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota. We estimate that there are a total of 15,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in Minnesota.   The good news is that...
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Expertise on Caregiving is Incomplete without the Perspective of Caregivers
On a cold, icy evening in St. Paul, a crowd of Minnesotans gathered to talk about family caregiving, specifically the “caregiving sandwich” which translates to those caring for aging parents and children leaving them ‘sandwiched’ in their role as mother/daughter, son/father.  This wasn’t a support group, it was a social venue known as “Policy and a Pint” hosted by Citizen’s League and Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current.  “Sandwich caregiving” is just one of many scenarios of family caregiving. This topic of caregiving seems so straightforward.  But when complications of employment, multi-generational caregiving including grandparents or extended family, health issues, financial concerns, housing, or even resource access barriers arise, caregivers find themselves overwhelmed and uncertain to know where to turn and what to do next.  Caregiving can...
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The Family Feels the Impact of Addiction, Too
Nway Linn​Have you heard the saying that addiction is a “family disease”? Some may think that means addiction is genetic, something that runs in the family and is only passed along from generation to generation. And some may even think the chronic disease only affects the addicted. However, addiction is an illness that spreads to all family members, whether they are sober or not. Whether it is health, finances or relationships, the impact of addiction is felt and shared throughout the family. If I were to describe what addiction is, it would be similar to the 1958 film called “The Blob.” For those who are not familiar with “The Blob,” it starts as a small, jelly-like blob that is alive and sticks and holds on to...
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6 Things to Know About Veterans’ Behavioral Health Needs in Minnesota
Nora Johnson​Last year, in response to reported gaps in the Veteran mental and behavioral health system, the Minnesota Legislature commissioned a needs assessment of Veterans in Minnesota. Wilder Research worked with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) to conduct such an assessment. We looked at existing data, interviewed providers, and surveyed nearly 1,000 Minnesota Veterans to identify mental and behavioral health needs, the resources available to them, and the opportunities to address any unmet needs of this population. Here are six takeaways from that assessment: Many Veterans are accessing the supports they need. Overall, 77 percent of Minnesota Veteran survey respondents reported feeling they have the support they need, including those who have received services in the last two years (24%) and those that have not (53%)....
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5 Facts That Can Help You Save a Life: What You Need to Know About Commercial Sexual Exploitation
Laura Schauben​People typically think commercial sexual exploitation happens to women brought in from other countries who are locked away in basements being victimized by men they don’t know. In reality, this scenario is one of many. Similarly, while most people are sure commercial sexual exploitation isn’t happening in their community, it likely is. Commercial sexual exploitation occurs where you are…in whatever town, city, or corner of the world you are reading this. By understanding the many ways commercial sexual exploitation happens and by being aware of signs it may be happening near you, you can help save a life. The following information was primarily derived from Wilder Research’s first biennial evaluation of Minnesota’s Safe Harbor law and No Wrong Door model, an initiative designed to improve...
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Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 451 Lexington Parkway North, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 Phone: 651-280-2000
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