Homelessness continues to climb in Minnesota

20-365  1/20/08 - Stairway Sleeper

Homelessness rose last year in Minnesota by 2 percent. Given the negative trajectory of the economy, the state of the housing market and the cost of consumer goods the news of an increase isn’t surprising. Wisconsin saw a slight decline. According to the Saint Cloud Times, Minnesota’s homeless population is up 9 percent since 2007.

Across the nation there is an increase in homelessness in rural areas and among veterans.

“We’ve seen a decline in the annual number of people using homeless shelters in principal cities of about 17 percent since 2007,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said. “One the other hand, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of people using homeless shelters in suburban and rural areas — an increase of 57 percent.”

Donovan said HUD is targeting rural homelessness by giving $16.4 million to 87 programs it had not previously funded.

Efforts also are being focused on homelessness among veterans, more than 40 percent of whom are from rural communities, Donovan said.

“It is a national tragedy that veterans in this country are 50 percent more likely to be homeless than the average person,” he said. “We do see a significant level of homelessness among recently returned veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

In a national context the changes in Minnesota and Wisconsin are considered to be stable.

Also clicking on MN Today

Bachmann’s Re-Election Options Open

Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton said he wouldn’t be too hasty in considering Bachmann’s district an open seat.

“I respect the fact that Congresswoman Bachmann is running for president, but I think it would be premature until we see how the presidential campaign goes,” he said Tuesday in an interview. “She may, depending on how things go, decide she wants to run for Congress if things don’t go as she plans” (Roll Call).

Can Bachmann serve her district while running for president?

Bachmann’s new role as a declared presidential candidate means she will be spending even more time in states like Iowa and New Hampshire, and less in Minnesota and Washington, DC (Minnesota Public Radio).

Grand Rapids audience shows support for wolf delisting

For the third time, the federal government is trying to remove gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the Endangered Species List. The last two times, conservation groups challenged the idea in court, and won (Minnesota Public Radio).

Minnesota West prepares for shutdown

Minnesota West Community and Technical College sent layoff notices to some employees last week in preparation for a possible state government shutdown (Worthington Daily Globe).

Small fire in BWCAW being monitored near Gaskin Lake

Fire personnel completed a reconnaissance flight early Tuesday morning to determine the agency’s response to the fire. According to the Forest Service the fire is currently about three acres and smoldering in a mix of white pine cedar and hardwoods and is not expanding (WTIP).

Blog Box

Spirit of Iron Range captured in upcoming photo exhibit

I quickly realized that even in the face of serious economic change, life goes on. The communities of the Iron Range embrace their traditions and celebrate their history with events that are wonderfully photographable (Minnesota Brown).

Enger Tower awaits coming of the King

The views from the our skyline are everything you’ll ever want from a great view. Whether by day or by night, morning or evening, the ever shifting angles of light and even temperature changes make the view something new every day.Of all the views on the skyline, Enger Tower offers the most enriching of all (Pioneer Productions).

Social Radar

MPR News’ Facebook fans are having strong reactions to the possible shutdown of the state government.

Jill: I will be very upset if it interferes with using the state parks! I completely agree with whoever said they want to know how the legislators decided they had time to haggle over marriage when they should’ve been working on the budget.

Tom: IMHO they should shut down in January instead of the summer. Gosh, we spend the whole winter waiting for the beautiful summer here in Minnesota, and then they shut down our wonderful state parks. If I was their boss, they’d be fired. It would be interesting to see how they’d feel if they were unemployed!


A second round of rebuttals are generating new arguments this morning. The Assertion: If the private sector can perform a service or make a product, then government should get out of that business. What do you think?

Minnesota Scenes

21/52: Saturday Sunset