At least 1,400 people living on the Red Lake, White Earth, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, Bois Forte and Fond du Lac reservations are experiencing literal-or near homelessness in northern Minnesota. Nicole MartinRogers is with the Wilder Research…
“About two-thirds of the people that we surveyed are unemployed and two-thirds of those are looking for work. The biggest barrier cited in terms of being able to get a job is transportation.”
In addition, 60 percent of young adults lack a high-school diploma or GED. So educational barriers may also be a factor in their ability to obtain employment. MartinRogers says that 32 percent of people experiencing homelessness in Greater Minnesota were employed compared with just 23 percent of respondents from the reservation study.
Another barrier, many of the homeless adults can’t find affordable housing…
“35-percent have been on a waiting list for housing support and the average length of time that they are on the waiting list is 21 months.”
Nearly 20-percent of those surveyed said they could not afford to pay anything for housing. Those who could pay, said they could only afford around 300 dollars a month.
And of those surveyed MartinRogers says 61-percent are battling a serious health condition…
“That includes both physical, mental and substance abuse conditions. Seven percent of the people we interviewed actually have all three of these types of serious health conditions and 29-percent had two or more.”
The survey also found 75-percent of the people who are experiencing homelessness and near-homelessness on the participating reservations said they had at least one adverse childhood experience. These experiences most often include living with someone who was dealing with substance abuse as a child, witnessing abuse as a child, or being in an out-of-home placement as a child.
More information on the study can be found here.