Stats on Homelessness in MN

What Does Data from HMIS Tell Us About Homelessness in Minnesota?

During 2018, at least 1 in 238 Minnesotans experienced homelessness.1

13,662 adults, 2,801 youth age 18-24, and 6,752 children stayed in shelters or temporary housing programs. 

  • About 40 percent of those people identified their race as Black or African American, 34 percent identified as White, 11 percent as American Indian or Alaska Native, and the rest as other racial groups. 
  • About 1 in 59 Minnesotans of color experienced homelessness, compared with 1 in 588 White Minnesotans. 

At the end of 2018, 12,388 Minnesota households were waiting for housing placements:2

  • 62% of waiting households included someone with a disability. 
  • 3% of households included a veteran. 

In 2018 …3

  • Two-thirds of people entering homelessness were homeless for the first time. 
  • 14 percent of people who were experiencing homelessness but left for a permanent housing placement during 2017 returned to homelessness within the next year.4
  • Of people who left shelters, transitional housing, or rapid re-housing, about a third left for permanent housing placements.5

What is the permanent housing capacity in Minnesota for those experiencing homelessness?

This is a great example of the sort of questions HMIS is poised to answer: how does the availability of resources compare to the need for those resources? These visuals were inspired by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, who published a national statistic for families and bed availability. Essentially, it sets out to demonstrate what housing will open up compared to the anticipated number of people who will need it.

For those who experienced homelessness in 2018, permanent housing capacity exists for:6

  • About 31% of individuals
Chart showing the number of permanent housing placements compared to the number of individuals experiencing homelessness
  • About 69% of families
Chart showing the number of permanent housing placements compared to the number of families experiencing homelessness


1. This section includes all individuals who stayed in a shelter or transitional housing program participating in the statewide HMIS data system during 2018. It does not include those experiencing unsheltered homelessness or staying in programs that do not participate in HMIS. About 74% of Minnesota shelters and transitional housing programs participate in HMIS.

Total Minnesota population figures from U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates Program: overall number 2018, race breakdown 2017.

2. Clients active statewide on the Coordinated Entry Priority List as of December 2018. For more on Coordinated Entry see

3. Data in this section is drawn from the FY 2018 System Performance Measures, measures 1.1, 5.2, 4.3, and 7b1.

4. This figure includes all clients of street outreach, emergency shelter, or transitional housing programs who left for permanent housing destinations during 2017. Permanent housing destinations as listed here [excluding long-term care facilities/nursing homes].

5. Data includes clients of emergency shelter, safe haven, transitional housing, and rapid re-housing programs who exited to permanent housing destinations.

6. Permanent housing capacity uses bed and unit data from the 2019 HIC combined with turnover rates averaged over 2017 and 2018 using HMIS client exit data.