Wilder Research Postpones Minnesota Homeless Study Until 2022
Wilder Research has decided to postpone its 2021 triennial study of homelessness by one year. The study will now take place in October 2022.
We made this decision in consultation with multiple state, tribal, county, and private partners who work in housing and homelessness. Ultimately the decision was made for two main reasons:
- We do not want to create further strain on a heavily burdened housing system. Because of the pandemic, housing providers are strained beyond what we have seen before, and we do not want the Minnesota Homeless Study to create additional strain for provider staff. Not only did that feel unfair to providers, but the extra burden could result in fewer surveys or less accurate data than usual.
- We do not want to put our staff, volunteer interviewers, or anyone experiencing homelessness in a dangerous situation. Every study cycle, our team assesses the risk to those involved in conducting the study (both respondents and interviewers). We did not feel confident this year in our ability to preserve the physical and mental health and safety of everyone involved. This was both because of the potential for spreading COVID-19 (e.g., the uncertainty of knowing who is vaccinated and interviewing in shelter settings), and because of increased stress, particularly among the homeless population.
About the Minnesota Homeless Study
Every three years, Wilder Research conducts a one-day statewide study to better understand the prevalence of homelessness in Minnesota, as well as the circumstances of those experiencing homelessness. Wilder Research, with the support of public and private funders, housing service providers, and volunteer interviewers, has conducted the study since 1991.