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Information for Volunteers

Join more than 1,000 volunteer interviewers conducting face-to-face interviews with people experiencing homelessness


Thank you volunteers! 

With your help, we conducted thousands of interviews with people experiencing homelessness across Minnesota. 

The October 26, 2023 study was the first to be conducted since the COVID-19 pandemic began. It is more important than ever to shine a light on homelessness in Minnesota. Together, we will be better prepared to meet its challenges with clear and accurate information.

What comes next? 

  • Find out how Wilder Research turns thousands of surveys with people experiencing homelessness into information that improves policies and programs: Turning data into action

What to expect as a Minnesota Homeless Study volunteer

  • Summer-Fall 2023: Sign up as a 2023 Minnesota Homeless Study volunteer.
  • Early October 2023: You’ll receive emails with your interview location, time and training materials. 
  • October 26, 2023: Conduct interviews at your assigned location and time. A site leader will be at your assigned interview location to provide direction and support, as needed.

About the Minnesota Homeless Study

The data and analysis from the Minnesota Homeless Study provide advocates, program and service providers, funders, and policymakers information they need to identify and address systemic issues, improve programs and policies, and ultimately eliminate homelessness.

The study happens in partnership with:

  • State agencies, regional planning entities, tribes, housing service providers
  • More than 1,000 volunteers across the state to conduct survey interviews on a single day
  • Adults and youth who have no permanent place to live

Volunteering for the Minnesota Homeless Study is a unique volunteer opportunity centering the experiences of the people being interviewed. The participation of adults and youth experiencing homelessness gives voice and substance to the reality of homelessness in our state and helps planners, funders, and advocates in their efforts to find solutions.

As a volunteer, please bring flexibility, humility and open-mindedness to the experience. 

Common questions about volunteering for the Minnesota Homeless Study

Who can volunteer?

  • Interviewers must be age 21 or older.

When will I conduct interviews?      

Most interview assignments:

  • Take place on Thursday, October 26, 2023.  
  • Involve a 4-hour time commitment.  
  • Begin in the afternoon or evening; some assignments earlier in the day may also be available. 
  • Are made based on the schedules and needs of homeless service providers participating in the study. The greater your flexibility, the more likely we'll be able to identify an assignment for you.

Where do interviews take place?

  • Interviews take place at shelter locations throughout Minnesota, including emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, and domestic violence shelters.
  • Most interviewers volunteer at sites in the Twin Cities metro. 
  • Some surveys are conducted at non-shelter locations. 

What kind of interviews will I do?

  • You’ll conduct interviews using a structured survey instrument. See the 2023 Minnesota Homeless Study survey instrument as an example. 
  • Each interview takes approximately 30 minutes using the interview form.
  • You’ll be required to complete a 90-minute training to ensure you understand: 1) how to go through the questions, 2) how to engage with the people you are interviewing, 3) who to contact with questions.

Questions? Contact Christin Lindberg or Carrie Au-Yeung at

When I hear about homelessness in Minnesota, I remember my experience as a volunteer. I'm thankful for the people that are willing to tell their story, so that we, in turn, can do something about it.


Learn more about the Minnesota Homeless Study

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