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 works with nearly 2,000 young people experiencing homelessness each year.

Meet Kaja Opportunity Navigator

“I like working at YouthLink because of the relationships I build with youth of color, especially queer and trans youth of color. It is an honor to see the growth, as well as setbacks, youth experience. I am continuously learn from these youths.”

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