Homeless Youth in Minnesota

Young people age 21 and under are some of the least visible and most vulnerable segments of persons who are homeless.

Who are homeless youth in Minnesota?

  • Young people age 21 and under are the most likely to be homeless
  • 29% of youth who are homeless are also parents
  • 21% of youth who are homeless have children with them
  • 40% are not using shelter services
  • 58% of 19-21 year olds had completed high school or received their GED
  • 44% have been physically abused as a child
  • 27 % have been sexually abused as a child
  • 31% have been neglected as a child
  • 60% has a parent who has been incarcerated
  • 36% have a chronic physical health condition
  • 52% have a significant mental illness
  • 16% have a substance abuse disorder
    • (adapted from Wilder Research, April 2013)

Why are young people homeless in Minnesota?

  • Background of Poverty
  • Family Conflict
  • Child Abuse
  • Mental Illness
  • Chemical Dependency issues of the youth or their family members
    • (adapted from Minnesota Department of Human Services, February 2007)

How many youth are homeless?

On  October 25, 2013 Wilder Research conducts a statewide study to be understand the prevalence, causes, circumstances, and effects of homelessness.

  • On this day they counted 10,214 people who were homeless in Minnesota
  • Of that number 1,151 were under the age of 21.
    • This report does not contain estimates of the uncounted or unidentified homeless population.
  • Homeless youth(age 18-21) make up 10% of the population of people who are experiencing homelessness
    • In the general population youth (age 18-21) make up 6% of the population
    • (adapted from Wilder Research, March 2013)

What Do Homeless Youth Need?

  • Housing including emergency shelter, transitional living programs, and permanent supportive housing for youth with mental illness and/or chemical dependency issues.
  • Transportation
  • Youth employment programs
  • Youth chemical dependency programs
  • Culturally specific services
  • Transition Services for county and state systems
  • Health care
  • Services for teen parents
  • Services for sexually exploited youth
    • (adapted from Minnesota Department of Human Services, February 2007)