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Understanding Sex Trafficking & What Minnesota is Doing to Address It
A close-up headshot of researcher Julie Atella smiling at the camera.Most of you have likely heard about sex trafficking in some form or another. Common perceptions are that sex trafficking is not a widespread problem in Minnesota, and only happens in isolated instances to youth from other countries or in cases of abduction by strangers. Sadly, a recent Wilder Research report confirms that commercial sexual exploitation is much more widespread in Minnesota than most of us think. Sexual exploitation can happen anywhere to anyone. This includes institutions and industries in Minnesota as well as schools, businesses, religious communities and it involves native Minnesotans, not just immigrants who are brought in from other countries. Sexual exploitation is occurring in all regions in the state: 36% of the victims were being served in the Twin Cities metro...
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Little Things Matter at Day Treatment
hope signFor a long time, sometimes for many years, parents of children in the Wilder Day Treatment program have faced the dilemma of whether to answer the phone when the school, child care or a service provider calls. As one parent shared with us: "Usually the calls are to say my child is in trouble – swearing, refusing to follow directions, hitting and kicking other kids or adults, destroying property. The next thing I am told is that he can’t stay there, that I need to come get him, and on top of that, he can’t come back for 1-3 days. I’ve lost jobs because of too many phone calls and too much missed work. I love my son, but what am I supposed to do? None of...
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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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Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 451 Lexington Parkway North, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 Phone: 651-280-2000
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