Minnesotans experiencing homelessness are moms and dads, sons and daughters, and grandmothers and grandfathers. They are people you would recognize as appearing homeless, and they are also kids in your child's class, people working full-time. Sometimes people experience homelessness for just a few days before returning to stability. Other times, the journey back to stability takes weeks, months, or years.
On October 25th, 2018, there were at least 10,233 people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota. It was estimated that there were 15,000 people homeless on a given night in Minnesota in 2015, with around 40,000 Minnesotans experiencing homelessness in a given year. Estimates for 2018 will be available soon.
On that night in October of 2018, 40% of people experiencing homelessness (or 4,072) were counted in Hennepin County. Children and youth made up 43% of those experiencing homelessness in Hennepin County. Five hundred people who were identified in Hennepin County were age 55 or older -- a 25% increase over the 2015 count.
The 10,233 people counted in October of 2018 all met the federal definition of homelessness. You can read the full definition here, but it essentially requires that a person lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and is primarily spending nights in shelter or in public or private places not meant for human habitation.
Other definitions of homelessness include people who are "doubling up" or staying with a friend, but St. Stephen's generally uses the federal definition to align with funding requirements.
For more information about who experiences homelessness in the Twin Cities, this article is very helpful: Getting a handle on the size of the homeless population in the Twin Cities, MinnPost.