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Downtown Minneapolis is getting a $17M shelter for homeless youth

Construction on a $17 million housing center to support hundreds of homeless youth in Minneapolis is set to start this week.

Downtown View, a five-story development set for 41 N. 12th St., will provide 46 units of “high quality housing and supportive services” for homeless adults aged 18-24, according to a news release.

The project is a collaboration between Project for Pride in Living and YouthLink, the latter of which helps more than 2,000 homeless youth each year by connecting them to housing, education, employment, health services and help reduce their dependence on social services.

Thousands of young people each night are homeless in Minnesota, many of them in the Twin Cities, and Downtown View will provide housing facilities that can be used by almost 30 agencies working to end youth homelessness in the metro area.

The building will connect to YouthLink’s existing headquarters, and will include a fitness center and a career pathways center that will work to create economic and education opportunities for struggling young people.

The building is being financed by a mixture of $11.8 million public funding and $6 million raised by YouthLink itself, which included a $500,000 donation from the Pohlad Family Foundation (Editor’s note: GoMN is owned by the Pohlad Group.)

How bad is homelessness in Minnesota?

The most recent homelessness study in Minnesota, conducted in late 2015 by Wilder Research, found there were 9,312 homeless adults and children in the state, which was a 9 percent decrease between 2012 and 2015, though this followed a 32 percent increase from 2006 to 2012.

The study found young people are most at risk of homelessness, with children and youth aged 24 and younger the most likely to be homeless in the state. Children with their parents accounted for 35 percent of the state’s homeless, while 16 percent are youths (minor and young adult) who are on their own.

Homelessness also disproportionately impacts African Americans and American Indians, who account for 39 and 8 percent of homeless adults in the state respectively, despite comprising just 5 and 1 percent of total adults statewide.

Despite a decade-long effort to reduce homelessness in Hennepin County and Minneapolis, the county saw an increase of 231 homeless people in 2015, when there were 3,125 homeless people in the county, compared to 2007, the Star Tribune reported.

Wilder Research noted the lingering effects of the recession, soaring rent and house prices, domestic abuse, and ongoing struggles with alcohol, drug and mental issues are the main causes of homelessness in the state.

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