Report: Homeless Numbers Increase in Central Minnesota
ST. CLOUD - While the number of people suffering from homelessness is dropping statewide, they're increasing in Central Minnesota.
The Wilder Foundation released numbers on Monday, showing the number of homeless people in Minnesota has dropped since 2012. However, the number of homeless people in Central Minnesota over that time spiked upward.
About 9,300 people were homeless in Minnesota during a count last fall. That's down 9 percent from a peak of about 10,000 in 2012. However, regional numbers show the amount of people who are homeless increased in Central Minnesota from 605 in 2012 to just over 787 in 2015.
Of the 787 homeless, 578 were identified as being in shelters. The amount of people in domestic violence shelters also increased in Central Minnesota from 55 to 72 people.
In a recent interview with WJON, Jon Ruis, the president of United Way of Central Minnesota, said over 400 Central Minnesota school kids are identified as homeless. Statistics were gathered from a number of Central Minnesota school districts, with the largest portion coming from the St. Cloud area school district (Which is also the largest Central Minnesota school district).
Ruis added that on average, 5-10 families are on wait lists for local shelters every night.
“There are certain parts of the community that are really struggling with their basic needs and housing is one of those. There just aren’t enough homeless shelter beds for families in Central Minnesota.”
Every three years the Wilder Foundation conducts a statewide homeless study. The numbers were counted during a one-night survey on October 22nd, 2015.