The Minnesota Homeless Study, conducted every three years, is a point-in-time study aimed at better understanding the prevalence of homelessness in Minnesota, as well as the circumstances of those experiencing homelessness. The most recent study took place on October 25, 2018.
The triennial study of homelessness has been postponed until October 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.
Wilder Research, with the support of public and private funders, housing service providers, and volunteer interviewers, has conducted the study since 1991. Since 2006, Wilder Research, in partnership with six Minnesota tribal nations, has also conducted the Reservation Homeless Study, which looks specifically at homelessness on American Indian reservations.
Why is this study important?
The Minnesota Homeless Study is the most comprehensive source of descriptive information about homeless adults, youth, and children in the state. The data and reports produced from this work equip users with the information they need to identify and address systemic issues, improve programs and policies, and ultimately eliminate homelessness in Minnesota.
Having many years of data allows us to look at trends over time, and the breadth and depth of the study (through thousands of face-to-face interviews) allows us to look more closely at the experiences of specific populations, such as older adults, unaccompanied youth, the LGBTQ community, Veterans, and American Indians living on reservations.
Beyond the Numbers: Using Data to Address and End Homelessness
Learn about the unique ways community members engage with and use the Minnesota Homeless Study to inform programs, services, policy, and funding, and how homelessness is addressed in our state.
- Emcee: Brandt Williams, Reporter, Minnesota Public Radio
- Panelist: Michelle Decker Gerrard, Minnesota Homeless Study Director, Wilder Research
- Panelist: Cathy ten Broeke, Director to Prevent and End Homelessness, State of Minnesota
- Panelist: David Schultz, Metro State University Professor, Homeless Study Volunteer
- Read about how the Minnesota Homeless Study is conducted.
Learn more about the methods involved in the study and get a copy of the survey we use.
- 6 Things to Know About the Minnesota Homeless Study.
Study director Michelle Decker Gerrard shares key information about the 2018 study.
- What have we learned from 30 years of studying homelessness in Minnesota?
Read former study director Greg Owen's insights from studying homelessness for more than three decades.
Special thanks to our funders!
- Minnesota Department of Human Services
- Minnesota Department of Corrections
- Minnesota Department of Education
- Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development
- Minnesota Department of Health
- Minnesota Department of Transportation
- Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs
- Minnesota Housing
- Pohlad Family Foundation
- Greater Minnesota Housing Fund
- Hennepin County Office to End Homelessness
- Blandin Foundation
- Ramsey County
- Family Housing Fund
- Metropolitan Council
- Greater Twin Cities United Way
- The Minneapolis Foundation
- F.R. Bigelow Foundation
- Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation
- Northwest Area Foundation
For information on how you or your organization can provide financial support, please contact Michelle Decker Gerrard.