Police, social workers team up to count Minnesota's homeless population

Police and social workers teamed up late Wednesday night to get a count of Minnesota’s homeless population. 

The Blaine Police Department invited people experiencing homelessness to the Northtown Mall in Blaine so officials could count them as well as give them a meal and information about housing and health resources. 

“It is really a community problem and tonight’s event is a really great way to see the community come together to provide a whole variety of resources and connections for clients to choose to engage if they want to, to get themselves into a better place than they were in the past,” Anoka County housing program coordinator Michele Reid said. 

Other similar events were held statewide overnight.

The federal government requires states to count their homeless population to determine how to distribute funding to fight homelessness. 

Last year, there were about 8,000 people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota—about a 10 percent increase from 2018.