The Cost of Homelessness - Youthlink

The Cost of Homelessness Every night in Minnesota, it's estimated that 6,000 young people are homeless. But we have a unique opportunity to prevent a lifetime of dependency and solve the disparity issues that prevent success for all Minnesotans.

Foldes Consulting, LLC, studied the economic burden of youth homelessness in Minnesota, focusing on the short- and long-term costs to taxpayers and society. The study examined comprehensive costs of more than 1,400 16-to-24 year olds who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless who visited YouthLink in 2011. The study found that all annual and support costs for the entire group can be covered if 89 youth (only 6.1% of the total young people in the study) were to earn enough so that they no longer need any public support, beginning at age 20.


The Cost of Homelessness

Download the full study completed by Foldes Consulting, LLC.

PowerPoint Presentation

View the study as a PowerPoint presentation with notes by Foldes Consulting, LLC


Study Infographic

Download the infographic version of the study.

Youth Experiencing Homelessness Throughout Minnesota

While the economic burden of homeless youth was estimated for Hennepin County clients of YouthLink, youth are experiencing homelessness in all areas of the state. For more information on data relevant to other parts of Minnesota, please contact Dr. Steven Foldes at

YouthLink’s collaboration on the Downtown 100 program led to a 74% decrease in arrest rates among program participants.

Meet Gifty Amarteifio TerraLuna Collaborative

“I wanted to join the Young Professionals Board to feel connected to community. I also joined to engage with others who share similar values and a commitment towards addressing youth homelessness.”

Meet our young professionals board >