More of Minnesota's homeless veterans have a place to live


The number of U.S. veterans who are homeless is down by nearly 50 percent since 2010, the Obama Administration announced Tuesday.

The progress, detailed in a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) report, noted a 17 percent drop in homeless veterans nationwide since last year.

"While we've made remarkable progress toward ending veteran homelessness, we still have work to do to make certain we answer the call of our veterans just as they answered the call of our nation," HUD Secretary Julián Castro said in a news release.

Any veteran who is facing a housing crisis is encouraged to reach out by calling 1-888-LinkVet. For more information on homeless resources in Minnesota, click here.

How is Minnesota doing?

Getting better, by this account at least.

Since 2010, the number of homeless veterans in Minnesota has dropped by 57 percent, a Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs news release says.

In the past year, the number of unsheltered veterans (those living on the street, not in some type of shelter) has dropped by 30 percent, while the total number of homeless veterans is down by 6 percent, a state-by-state breakdown in the HUD report shows.

The report estimates there are 279 veterans without permanent housing – that's 248 living on the street, and 31 who are living in some type of shelter or transitional housing.

Click here to view the full report.

Comparing Minnesota's numbers

This isn't the only count of Minnesota's homeless veterans. The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation collects data on homeless veterans every three years, finding 449 homeless veterans in Minnesota in October 2015, down from 580 in 2012.

"Regardless of the data source, even in the statewide triennial survey we do see the numbers are going down. The good news is we’re making progress on the issue," Senior Research Manager Craig Helmstetter of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation told BringMeTheNews.

The differences between federal data and the Wilder Foundation's data can be attributed to the different ways the groups collect data, Helmstetter said.

To honor Minnesota – and the nation's – progress, HUD Secretary Julián Castro is in Minnesota Tuesday for the Twin Cities StandDown for Veterans 2016 event. He'll also meet with local veterans, Gov. Mark Dayton and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, a news release says.

He will also make an appearance with Rep. Keith Ellison and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges at the Minneapolis National Night Out neighborhood block party Tuesday night.

What has helped?

The federal report credits the progress to partnerships between HUD, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness 2010 campaign, as well as various state and local organizations.

In Minnesota, organizations such as the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans have provided not only housing, but integration resources and skills training. Helmstetter said the state's effort to compile a list of individual homeless veterans has also helped.

“Approximately four months after we meet a veteran facing homelessness, they have a place to call home," Larry Shellito, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, said in a news release.

In 2016, HUD and VA awarded nearly $38 million to help more than 5,200 homeless veterans across the nation find a permanent place to call home. In June, U.S. Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, along with Rep. Rick Nolan, announced new funding to help end veteran homelessness in Minnesota.

Next Up


Coller: What's left to watch for Vikings fans?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

trick-or-treating, Halloween

Traditional trick-of-treating a no-no, but MDH say there are ways to make it safer

There are safer ways to do trick-or-treating than going door-to-door, health officials say.

android sanitizing station CBP

Officers seize 440 fake hand-sanitizing stations at International Falls port

If the items were legitimate, they would have been worth more than $1 million.

Screen Shot 2020-10-05 at 3.13.09 PM

Jason Lewis discharged from the hospital after life-threatening hernia

Lewis will return to his home in Woodbury to recover.

voting sign

Backlash as Trump campaign, MPD union seek retired cops to act as 'poll challengers'

The Secretary of State says targeting a "problem area" is unlawful.

train car BNSF, grain hopper

Woman fatally struck by train in west-central Minnesota

The woman's identity has not been released.

Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 6.52.02 AM

Target reveals its first Black Friday deals; month-long discounts planned

The retailer is staggering its sales to make it easier to shoppers to plan amid COVID-19.

Sergio Romo

Twins decline 2021 option on Sergio Romo

The Twins begin a potential overhaul in the bullpen.

high school football

'Scalpel approach' gives MN schools chance to keep playing sports

County infection rates are no longer the only thing that matters.


With the help of HVAC, Circus Juventas will host its first holiday shows

After months of canceled classes and shows, Circus Juventas is hosting its first ever holiday show, with safety precautions.

Cameron Dantzler

Vikings send Cameron Dantzler to COVID-19/reserve list

Dantzler's placement leaves the Vikings paper-thin at cornerback heading into Green Bay.