The success of the Minnesota Homeless Study relies on volunteers like you.

Please note: Thanks to a generous response, all volunteer spots have been filled. To join the volunteer waiting list, please sign up below. We anticipate last-minute cancellations and will contact waiting list volunteers as spots become available.


Join more than 1,000 volunteers to conduct face-to-face interviews with people experiencing homelessness. We are seeking qualified volunteers at more than 400 shelter locations throughout Minnesota and for a companion study on Minnesota American Indian reservations.

Learn more about the Minnesota Homeless Study


Most surveys take place on Thursday, October 25, 2018. Most interview assignments involve a 4-hour time commitment, and many begin in the afternoon or evening. Assignments earlier in the day are also available.


Volunteers must be age 21 or older and bring openness and flexibility to the volunteer experience. We also ask that you commit to completing the training with the materials sent to you prior to your volunteer shift.


At over 400 shelter locations throughout Minnesota including emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, and domestic violence shelters. Surveys are conducted at non-shelter locations in some areas.

What's involved

  • Training is required. Volunteers receive materials and details by early October. Your preparation will result in a better experience for you and the individuals you're interviewing.
  • Site leaders from Wilder Research and other organizations provide direction and support to volunteer interviewers at each location.
  • Each interview takes approximately 30-45 minutes using an interview form (see the 2015 interview).


Sign up now!

You will receive a confirmation.

Following your registration, we will send you additional information about time and schedule availability.

For additional information or with questions about volunteering, please contact Karen Ulstad at or 651-280-2690 or Chris Lindberg at or 651-280-2728. 

"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." – Brooke Darst Rice, 2015 study volunteer

Study purpose

  • Provide an accurate picture of homelessness in Minnesota for service providers, policymakers, and the public to help inform plans to end homelessness.
  • Support funding requests for programs that serve people experiencing homelessness.
  • Promote efforts to create more permanent, affordable housing for all Minnesotans.
  • Learn more about the Minnesota Homeless Study

Special thanks to our funders!

  • Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • Minnesota Housing Finance Agency

With additional support from:

  • Blandin Foundation
  • Family Housing Fund
  • F.R. Bigelow Foundation
  • Greater Minnesota Housing Fund
  • Hennepin County Office to End Homelessness
  • Minnesota Department of Corrections
  • Minnesota Department of Education
  • Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
  • Minnesota Department of Health
  • Minnesota Department of Transportation
  • Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Northwest Area Foundation
  • Ramsey County
  • Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundations
  • The Minneapolis Foundation

For information on how you or your organization can provide financial support, please contact Michelle Decker Gerrard.