The 2015 Minnesota Veterans Homeless Report shows improvement. Rick Owen is with Wilder Research:
In Minnesota, six out of 10 homeless veterans have been without stable housing for a year or longer. One out of three has been homeless for at least three years.
Owen says there is still work to be done:
Owen says over 60-percent of homeless veterans suffer from serious mental or chronic health illnesses. The average age of a homeless vet in Minnesota is 51.
Key Study Findings
Homelessness among Veterans decreased 27%. Targeted efforts to reduce homelessness among Veterans in Minnesota appears to be paying off. In 2015, an estimated 422 Veterans were homeless in Minnesota, an approximately 27% decrease since the study was done in 2012.
61% of homeless Veterans are chronically homeless. In Minnesota, 6 out of 10 homeless veterans have been without stable housing for a year or longer. One out of 3 has been homeless at least three years.
32% of homeless Veterans are employed. Compared to 2012, homeless Veterans in 2015 were more likely to be employed (32% in 2015 versus 22% in 2012), and those employed were more likely to make $10 per hour or more (67% in 2015 versus 52% in 2012). But those unemployed face serious barriers to employment, including serious mental and physical health issues.
87% percent of homeless Veterans in Minnesota report having at least one chronic disability. This includes serious mental illness, chronic health conditions, substance abuse disorder, and other conditions that limit work or activities of daily living. Over one-third of all homeless Veterans (36%) are likely to have a brain injury.
Homeless veterans are disproportionately people of color. Forty-two percent of homeless veterans in Minnesota were people of color, though people of color make up only 15% of the state’s total adult population, and 8% of Minnesota’s veteran population.
Most homeless veterans are older. The average age of homeless veterans in Minnesota is 51. This is a decade older than the average age of the overall homeless adult population.
Homeless Veterans in Minnesota 2015: Findings from the 2015 Minnesota Homeless Study is now available at www.mnhomeless.org.