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Homeless Youth Numbers Increase in Minnesota

Wilder Research Homelessness in Minnesota 2009 research found:

There was a 25% increase in homelessness for young adults 18-21 from 2006–2009.

  • 24% of youth slept outside at least one night in October ’09
  • 46% report a serious mental illness
  • 45% have been physically or sexually mistreated
  • 64% had experienced a placement such as a foster home, group home, detention facility or treatment center

The number of shelter beds for homeless youth under 17 has remained the same since 2003.

Youth who age out of the foster care system face new & formidable challenges.

In a recent Midwest evaluation of the adult functioning of former foster youth aged 23-24, Mark Courtney et al. found some startling statistics:

  • 84% of former foster youth reported holding a job since leaving foster care, but only 48% were currently employed (or 52% if excluding the 45 young men currently incarcerated).
  • More than 75% of the young women in this Midwest study reported ever being pregnant, of whom 66.6% had been pregnant more than once.
  • 61% of young men in the study reported impregnating a female partner (compared to the 28% of a national sample of young men aged 23-24).
  • Only 60% of young women and 58% of young men were either working or enrolled in school.
  • Only 6% of those surveyed had a 2- or 4-year degree, but nearly 1/3 had completed one year of college.

Courtney, M., Dworsky, A., Lee, J., & Raap, M. (2009) Midwest evaluation of the adult functioning of former foster youth: Outcomes at age 23 and 24. Chicago: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.