The Phoenix

Homelessness in Minnesota

As the frigidity of winter heightens and as the holidays approach, it is important to educate ourselves about how to help our fellow Minnesotans who are currently experiencing homelessness. While we live our daily life studying for tests, hanging out with our friends, or applying to college, it is too easy to forget that thousands of children, teenagers, and adults suffer each day and night. However, it could easily be us in their place.
Young people are most at risk for experiencing homelessness in Minnesota. On any given night, an estimated 6,000 Minnesota youth experience homelessness (mnhomeless.org). Oftentimes, these youth struggle with physical and mental health issues and they have a history of abuse or other trauma. Sadly, youth are the least likely to use shelters and many experience long-term homelessness (homeless at least a year, or four times in the last three years).
The main cause for homelessness in Minnesota is that there is not enough affordable housing. On average, a studio apartment in Minneapolis is $1,014 a month. For those who are working a minimum wage job, 40 hours a week, they are left with barely any money for food, insurance, or other expenses.
Other obstacles that hinder Minnesotans’ ability to maintain housing include chronic health conditions and abuse or violence. More than half of homeless adults have a significant illness and half have a chronic health condition. These illnesses make it difficult to maintain safe and stable housing.
What can you do to help?
Volunteer at Simpson House! A group of Holy Family students drive to Minneapolis on days off of school to make and serve breakfast to the homeless. Volunteering at Simpson House typically only takes 3 to 4 hours, so it is a great opportunity for those who have a busy schedule and are only available to volunteer for a few hours.
Bring in socks and winter gear! This is an extremely simple way to help those in our community who are experiencing homelessness. All you have to do is bring in socks, hats, gloves, or mittens to Holy Family! These items will then be donated to an organization that will distribute them to homeless children.
Overall, it is important to remain educated on issues that take place within our community such as homelessness. However, not only do we need to be educated, we need to take action to help those experiencing homelessness by donating our time or money.

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