Center of Excellence on Public Health and Homelessness
Nearly 8,000 people experienced homelessness in Minnesota on a single night in January 2022.1 The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how homelessness and housing instability can make it difficult to follow public health guidelines and prevent the spread of infectious disease. Homelessness can also cause premature aging and sharply reduce life expectancy. With the support of the CDC Foundation and its donors, MDH has established a Center of Excellence on Public Health and Homelessness to better understand and address the causes of severe disease and death among people experiencing homelessness. This page provides information on the Center of Excellence as well as a resource hub for people experiencing homelessness and professionals and advocates who work with people experiencing homelessness.
- Statistics and Research
Minnesota and national statistics and research on homelessness
- Resources and Guidance
Guidance and resources on medical assistance, housing, corrections, youth services, harm reduction, and more.
- Homelessness and Harm Reduction Grants
Listening Session: Homelessness and Harm Reduction Grants (PDF)
The Minnesota Department of Health hosted a listening session on Sept. 6, 2023, to discuss the homelessness strategies in the Minnesota Comprehensive Drug Overdose and Morbidity Prevention Act of 2023. This Act increased funding for new and existing syringe services programs for people experiencing homelessness. It also funds new overdose prevention hubs where people experiencing homelessness can go for harm reduction and health services and housing assistance. These funds will be awarded through a competitive process. Your input will help shape the upcoming request for proposals. Please submit additional feedback via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Sept. 29, 2023.
- This report reveals the tragic and ongoing premature loss of life among people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota and the steps we can take to reduce inequities.
Minnesota Homeless Mortality Report, 2017-2021 (PDF)
- To better understand the findings from the mortality report, MDH staff conducted interviews with eight people with lived experience of homelessness. This brief summarizes the findings.
Minnesota Homeless Mortality Brief:
Insight from People with Lived Experience (PDF)
The Minnesota Department of Health was selected as a Center of Excellence on Public Health and Homelessness, supported by a pilot grant from the CDC Foundation. MDH is partnering with the Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice Lab at the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute to advance the Center’s goals of:
- Understanding the primary causes of severe disease and death among people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota
- Supporting a statewide coalition of partners and developing and implementing policy recommendations to reduce severe disease and death among people experiencing homelessness
- Strengthening statewide efforts to better link housing and healthcare data in identifying and responding to health risks caused or worsened by homelessness.
- Informing the State of Minnesota’s plan to transform its approach to homelessness with a focus on health justice