Wilder Research announces Minnesota Homeless Study will take place in 2023
Wilder Research will conduct the next Minnesota Homeless Study October 26, 2023.
The triennial statewide study of homelessness was previously scheduled to take place in 2021, but has been postponed to 2023 due to challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After consulting with multiple state, tribal, and local partners who work in housing and homelessness, Wilder decided to wait until 2023 for the following reasons:
- Capacity issues and strain on the shelter and housing system continue. Housing and shelter providers continue to experience system-wide staffing shortages and other challenges related to the pandemic. Significant upfront time and planning are needed to prepare for the study and Wilder does not want the Minnesota Homeless Study to create additional strain for provider staff. The extra burden could also result in fewer surveys or less accurate data than desired. We are hopeful that capacity issues and system strain due to COVID-19 will have eased by next year.
- We want to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteer interviewers, and anyone experiencing homelessness. Every study cycle, our team assesses the risk to those involved in conducting the study (both respondents and interviewers). Though progress has been made due to vaccinations, and there are hopeful trends in the data about COVID-19, recent spikes in case numbers and new strains contribute to ongoing uncertainty and challenges in the homeless shelter system. In addition, people experiencing homelessness are vulnerable and often have health challenges that put them in a high-risk category. Our staff and volunteers also continue to navigate stress related to the pandemic. We want to ensure the physical and mental health and safety of everyone involved.
The pandemic has brought enormous challenges to our communities. Because of these challenges, it is more important than ever to gather data that helps us understand who is experiencing homelessness and why, as well as identify and address systemic issues, improve programs and policies, and ultimately eliminate homelessness in Minnesota. Wilder and its partners are eager to return to this important research next year.
See the data and what we learned in the 2018 Minnesota Homeless Study.
- 7 things to know about the Minnesota Homeless Study
- Homelessness PIT count data: Minnesota conducts an annual Point in Time count of all persons experiencing homelessness, in both sheltered and unsheltered situations