Report: Homelessness on the rise in Twin Citiesby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A new report shows the number of Twin Cities children and families experiencing homelessness is on the rise.
The Minnesota Housing Partnership examined housing data, and found that poverty rose in the second quarter of this year. The increase in poverty pushed more families into homelessness.
Researcher Leigh Rosenberg said the number of families seeking shelter in Hennepin County homeless shelters increased to an average of 260 families per month in the second quarter.
"That actually represents an increase of 21 percent over the previous year in the second quarter and is double the number from 2006," Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg said the number of St. Paul and Minneapolis public school children identified as homeless in the 2010-2011 school year increased 8 percent over the year before.
She said long-term unemployment among a wider range of families is one reason for the increase in poverty nationally and in Minnesota.
"The average length of time that they have been unemployed is over 9 months," she said. "Eventually, they can run out of resources and end up on the streets."