Homelessness in Minnesota: Detailed Findings from the 2018 Minnesota Homeless Study


This report offers an in-depth look at data from the 2018 Minnesota Homeless Study. Chapters address: the characteristics of Minnesota’s homeless population; history of homelessness and housing; health conditions and history of trauma; education, employment, and income information; factors associated with homelessness; and service use. Key findings from the study include:

  • Homelessness increased by 10% between 2015 and 2018. 
  • There was a 62% increase in the number of people not staying in a formal shelter setting (outside or temporarily doubled up); this increase drove the overall increase in homelessness.
  • There has been a 25% increase in older adults (55+) experiencing homelessness.
  • 56% of respondents said they have had difficulty renting an apartment or getting housing because there was no housing they could afford.
  • 77% of homeless adults have had multiple experiences with homelessness, and many adults have experienced repeated homelessness starting from an early age.
  • 73% of homeless adults had experienced at least one adverse childhood experience (ACEs), and over half (59%) reported multiple ACEs.
  • 32% of those experiencing homelessness were children (17 or younger) living with their parents. This number has remained relatively flat since 2015.
  • 58% of homeless adults have experienced physical or sexual violence; women and people who identify as LGBTQ experience this violence at higher rates (76% and 71%, respectively).
  • Most homeless adults have a chronic health condition: 81% of adults experiencing homelessness have a chronic physical health condition (57%), serious mental illness (64%), or substance use disorder (24%). 50% of adults experiencing homelessness have co-occurrences of these conditions.
  • African American and American Indian adults are overrepresented in Minnesota's homeless population. Those experiencing homelessness in 2018 were most likely to identify as African American (37%) or white (34%). However, relative to proportions statewide, people identifying as African American or American Indian are notably overrepresented in the homeless population. Racist and discriminatory economic and housing policies, along with generational poverty, continue to play a role in the overrepresentation of African American and American Indian people in the homeless population.



Pittman, Brian
Shelton, Ellen


62 p.
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Homelessness in Minnesota 2018 Study

Every three years, Wilder Research conducts a statewide survey of people experiencing homelessness or living in temporary housing programs. The 2018 study took place on October 25, 2018, and included two components that captured information on that date: 1) face-to-face interviews with people throughout the state who were experiencing homelessness and 2) a count of people experiencing homelessness. To learn more about the study, visit the Minnesota Homeless Study website.

See everything related to this project.