Lutherans in Minnesota

Homeless youth find few options

According to a Wilder Research report on teen homelessness in Minnesota, more
than 22,000 young people are homeless at some point in the year. That means
three percent of the general youth population experience homelessness,
according to Beth Holger, homeless youth services coordinator for the State of
Minnesota.

That news is bad enough, but the state and the nonprofit sector are not
equipped to deal with such numbers. There are only 147 shelter beds reserved
for young people, and only 145 youth supportive housing units, Holger told a
group of Lutherans called together by Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) 
at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Minnesota.

“Children are often forced out,” Holger explained. “Foster care payments might
run out, or parents may kick out young people [who] have come out as GLBT
and the parents don’t accept that.”

“There is a growing movement of people who actually believe that we can end
homelessness in Minnesota, especially youth homelessness,” said Alan Loose,
LSS director of cooperative ministries. “We are here to find out how we can be
part of the solution.”

To become part of the solution, contact Kate Reuer, LSS Policy and Advocacy
Coordinator at 651/969-2285.