Interviewer Training

Required training for study volunteer interviewers


Thank you for interviewing for the 2023 Minnesota Homeless Study!


All interviewers must complete training before the day of the study

Most interviews will take place on Thursday, October 26. A limited number of interviews are scheduled a day before or after October 26.

Training can be completed online or in person.

To complete your training online, do the following three steps:

Optional in-person trainings

In-person trainings are available for people who prefer the opportunity to do the training as a group and ask questions of study staff in person. Registration is not required.

Questions? Please contact us at interviewers@mnhomeless.org.

In-person trainings will take place at Wilder Center (451 Lexington Parkway North, Saint Paul).

  • Thursday, October 19, 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Summit-University Room
  • Thursday, October 19, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Summit-University Room
  • Monday, October 23, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Frogtown Room
  • Monday, October 23, 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Frogtown Room

Why is this training important?

Many people experiencing homelessness have complex and overlapping challenges in their lives, including histories of trauma, violence, or abuse.

The questions that you will be asking in this interview are sensitive and may lead to respondents revisiting difficult memories from their past.

A critical, trauma-informed step is to review all training materials before October 26 and to practice the interview at least once with someone you know. This will help you become familiar and comfortable with the questions, which will ultimately help to put respondents at ease during the interview.

In addition, homelessness disproportionately impacts people of color.

Racist and discriminatory economic and housing policies (such as redlining), along with generational poverty, continue to play a role in the overrepresentation of African American and American Indian people in the homeless population.

These resources outline historical trauma and discuss how it impacts the well-being of African American and American Indian communities today:

Where will I be interviewing?

  • Interviewing location assignments will be emailed the week of October 9th. Since there are over 1,000 interviewers involved in this effort, we ask you to please be patient. If, by October 19th you have not received information about where to go on the day of the survey, please contact Chris Lindberg or Carrie Au-Yeung at interviewers@mnhomeless.org.
  • For sites in greater Minnesota and in outreach locations, most sites coordinate their own interviewing, so you should receive specific information on site location and time from the shelter site contact or your regional outreach coordinator. If you have not yet received this information or need help contacting a coordinator, please email us at interviewers@mnhomeless.org
  • If you work with people who are unsheltered or in an outreach location, and you have not do not have a specific contact coordinating these type of interviews in your region, please email Michelle Decker Gerrard at michelle.gerrard@wilder.org.

Day-of-study tips

  • Arrive early to your site: Plan on arriving 10 minutes early to the site to connect with your site leader and ask any remaining questions you may have.
  • Wear casual clothing: Wear something that feels comfortable to you, as you may be sitting or standing for long periods of time.
  • Bring an extra pencil: Pencils and interviews will be provided, but it is always nice to have a back-up!
  • Bring a light snack and water: Food and water may not be provided at your interviewing site. If you are planning to conduct interviews for a long time, it is especially helpful to bring water.
  • Bring a book, your phone, etc.: There may gaps between interviews, so it can be helpful to have a book, phone, crossword puzzle, or something else to pass the time.