5 Quick Facts About Homelessness

At Union Gospel Mission, we’re focused on doing what we can do to end homelessness, poverty, and addiction. We know there’s a lot of misconceptions out there about homelessness in particular, so we’re offering you 5 quick facts about homelessness and the ways the Mission steps in to help.

1. Many homeless people have jobs. You might see someone homeless on the street and wonder, ‘why can’t they just get a job like the rest of us?’ The truth is, about 30% percent of people who are homeless in Minnesota work but cannot find affordable housing.

At the Mission, The LifeNet Education and Job Training program helps our students find and keep life-sustaining jobs.

2. Lack of affordable housing contributes to homelessness. According to the Wilder Foundation’s 2015 Minnesota Homeless Study, “adults most often report leaving their last housing due to inability to afford rent or mortgage (36%), and 22% report there is no housing available that they can afford. 41% of homeless adults are on a waiting list for subsidized housing, and another 14% can’t get on a wait list because it is closed.”

The Mission provides temporary housing for men and women working or looking for jobs.

3. Mental health concerns contribute to homelessness. Many people facing homelessness face anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mental illnesses that cause an inability to thrive.

The Mission has stepped up its engagement in this ongoing issue by providing training and resources for all student-facing staff to provide quality and consistency. A new clinical director will oversee all case managers and support services staff working with students and guests too ensure each person receives the best care.

4. Some people become homeless due to domestic violence.  At 35%, the number of women who are homeless due to domestic violence is higher than its been since 1991, according to Wilder.

The Naomi Family Residence at the Mission helps women and kids who have experienced violence in the home to have safe housing and programs that offer healing and hope.

5. Older adults are one of the fastest-growing groups of people experiencing homelessness. The numbers of homeless adults age 55 and older increased by 8 percent from 2012 to 2015. In shelters like the Mission, the number of homeless older adults increased by 21 percent since 2012.

The Mission caters to men and women of all ages, providing meals, shelter, and life-changing programs.


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