The Family Place Blog

Homelessness in Minnesota

Every three years, Wilder Research conducts a one-day statewide study to better understand the prevalence of homelessness in Minnesota, as well as the circumstances of those experiencing homelessness. The 2018 study took place on October 25, 2018.

2018 single night count of people experiencing homelessness.
The 2018 study included two components that captured information on October 25th.
1) face-to-face interviews with people throughout the state who meet a federal definition of homelessness
2) a count of people experiencing homelessness. Because point-in-time counts and surveys can never completely include all people experiencing homelessness, especially those not using shelters, the numbers represented here should be considered a minimum count.

These results highlight initial observations from the counts data only, which include:

All people staying in emergency shelters, domestic violence shelters, and transitional housing programs (referred to as “in shelter” in this summary).
People located outside, doubled up, and identified through interviews in outreach locations such as encampments, hot-meal programs, and other drop-in service sites (referred to as “not in a formal shelter” in this summary).
The number of people experiencing homelessness is up 10%.
One-night study counts of the Minnesota Homeless Population, 1991-2018. This graph shows two trend lines. One trend shows the total number of people counted, which most recently increased from 9,312 in 2015 to 10,233 in 2018. The other trend shows the count of children with parents, which held steady from 3,296 in 2015 to 3,265 in 2018.

Initial observations:
After a decline between 2012 and 2015, the overall number of people experiencing homelessness increased to peak 2012 levels (up 10% over 2015).
The numbers of homeless children and youth age 24 and younger are similar to levels counted in 2015; together, they represent nearly half of the homeless population (46%).
The number of families experiencing homelessness decreased by 5% (down to 1,472 in 2018).
The number of homeless adults increased from 2015, particularly among those 55 and older (up 25%).
The number of people not in a formal shelter (outside or doubled up) increased considerably since 2015 (up 62%).

Overall, the number of children and youth age 24 and younger experiencing homelessness remained steady.
Together, children and unaccompanied youth (age 24 and younger) make up nearly half of those experiencing homelessness (46%).
Since 2015, there was a 1% decrease in the number of children homeless with their parents.
There was a 1% increase in the number of homeless youth (age 24 and younger) on their own (without their parents).
While their numbers remained steady, children and youth are the most disproportionally affected by homelessness (relative to their population in Minnesota).

A pie graph shows homelessness in Minnesota by age group. From youngest to oldest age group, the percentage of the population experiencing homelessness includes: 32% children age 17 or younger with parents, 15% unaccompanied youth age 24 and younger, 43% adults age 25-54, and 10% older adults age 55+.

The number of adults, especially older adults, has increased considerably since 2015.
Older adults make up 10% of the homeless population in Minnesota.
While, proportionally, older adults (55 and older) make up the smallest age group of those experiencing homelessness, they saw the biggest increase in homelessness (up 25% from 2015).
Similarly, the number of homeless adults age 25-54 is up 20%.

Between 2015 and 2018, there was a considerable increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness who were not in a formal shelter.
Most people who were interviewed in outreach locations had spent time staying in a variety of locations throughout the month of the study. The majority of these were in unsheltered locations such as encampments, in their cars, or riding public transportation. Many piece together night-to-night accommodations, which may include staying with others doubled-up or couch hopping.
It is impossible to identify all people experiencing homelessness who are not in a formal shelter. These numbers can be impacted by variations in outreach efforts and the visibility of the population. The 2018 study was conducted in conjunction with increased visibility of people staying in encampments and on public transportation. In addition, there were homeless outreach events conducted throughout the state that also allowed access to those not staying in shelter.

In the 2018 study, 26% of people experiencing homelessness were not in a formal shelter.
The number of people not in a formal shelter increased 62% between 2015 and 2018.

This trend line displays the number of people not in a formal shelter (outside or doubled up), from 2009-2018. The numbers range from 2,257 in 2009 to 2,694 in 2018.

Homelessness increased across Minnesota.
Overall, in both the 7-county Twin Cities metro area (up 9%) and greater Minnesota (up 13%), there were more people experiencing homelessness in 2018 compared to 2015.
This was especially evident in the population not in a formal shelter, which was up 93% in the Twin Cities metro and up 36% in greater Minnesota.
The distribution of the homeless population between the Twin Cities metro (66%) and greater Minnesota (34%) is similar to the distribution found in the 2015 study.
Read the fact sheet
Explore the data tables
Explanation of 2018 data
These findings are based on the 2018 Minnesota Homeless Study counts data. These reports break down the counts data by shelter types, age, gender, and family status.

Note that these counts do not include estimates of the uncounted or unidentified homeless population. These counts also do not include in-depth characteristics of Minnesota’s homeless population or the count of those experiencing homelessness on American Indian reservations. Total single night estimates of Minnesota’s homeless population will be reported in fall 2019.

What’s next?
Future reports will include findings from thousands of face-to-face interviews conducted throughout Minnesota, as well as a separate report about interviews conducted in partnership with six of Minnesota’s Native American tribes.

Throughout the next year, Wilder Research will also publish specialized reports related to homelessness among youth, Veterans, older adults, and other specific populations.


Aja Majkrzak, Suzuki Violin Instructor
Aja has been playing the violin for over 20 years. She received her Bachelor’s of Music from the University of Minnesota in 2011 under the tutelage of Mark Bjork, and her Master’s of Music from Louisiana State University in 2013 studying with Espen Lilleslatten. Since then she has performed with many regional orchestras and is currently a member of the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra and serves as principal second violin with the Buffalo Community Orchestra.

Orchestral playing is the focus of her career but Aja is also a member of the Latin jazz group Charanga Tropical. In June 2015, she traveled to Havana, Cuba with the group to become the first band from the United States to participate in the International Danzon Festival.

Recently, Aja completed her teacher training for Suzuki Book 1 for the cello. She has also completed trainings for violin and viola through Suzuki Book 4. Follow the link for more information about the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Aja Majkrzak began giving violin lessons to the children at The Family Place.  It is so much fun but, also, it is a huge benefit to the children in many ways.  To learn more about the beauty of the Suzuki method, please read this article:

We are very fortunate that she shares her time and talents with Casa de La BellaMontessori!!!!!

Alexis Staley: A Wonderful Volunteer!!!

Alexis Staley grew up in Baltimore and started dancing at five years old. She has yet to stop!

Alexis graduated from Baltimore School for the Arts, studying classical ballet and modern dance. In 2014, she went on to graduate from Alonzo King Lines Ballet BFA in Dance and Dominican University of California. During college, Alexis completed a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She was involved with Juntos Collective: a nonprofit that organizes undergrad dancers around the country to use their art form for social justice work in their communities and throughout Latin America. She traveled through Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua performing, teaching, and participating in dance workshops. She realized that she could contribute her talents, skills, and passions to make a difference locally and globally; this desire drives her current goals and aspirations.

Since college, Alexis has danced professionally with San Francisco Opera, River North Dance Chicago, and TU Dance. She also teaches Pure Barre fitness class! When she is not dancing or teaching, she is doing other active things like exploring bike paths, trails, parks and lakes in Minnesota, her new home state.

We are very fortunate to have Alexis in the Twin Cites and at The Family Place!!

Thank you, Alexis, for your service to our community!

Montessori Education Week at Casa de la Bella

Lead Guide and Head of School, Susan Dyrud MacDonald, and Toddler Guide Debbie Bar, made this week a bit extra special for the children. From trying new fruits such as kumquats to doing experimental planting of wheat grass to usher in
spring, the children reveled in all things new. This is the look of education.

Dr. Maria Montessori was quoted as saying: “Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.” Casa de la Bella and the guides truly believe this and act in accordance with the teachings of Dr. Montessori’s brilliance and insight into the child.

To schedule a visit contact:


Support Community Gardens!!


Check out our 2014/2015 Bi-Annual Report!

The Family Place Bi Annual Report 2014 2015 large

Dr. Montessori on Children

Dr. Maria Montessori had some of the most beautiful ideology forming into poetic words in regard to the child. Here are but a few of those words (excuse the non-all inclusive language):

“Little children from the moment they are weaned are making their way toward independence.”

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

“It is the child who makes the man, and no man exists who was not made by the child he once was.”

The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiments.”

…and my favorite…”The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.”


Casa de la Bella is a Safe, Learning Environment for Children!


Thank You Skidmore Family and Friends!

Thank you for your generous donation of gardening times! The children will LOVE learning about butterfly transformation and growing vegetables!  We look forward to working with you in other volunteer capacities!

New Montessori Guide to Transform the Environment!

susanSusan MacDonald, AMI primary certified Montessori guide, will help create magic in Casa de la Bella on March 23rd and we couldn’t be more pleased. Her calm, positive demeanor and loving ways bring the perfect energy to our casa. The children will gravitate to her spirit. She will change their lives and they will change hers! Welcome to The Family Place family Ms. Susan!!