Homeless veteran numbers on the rise

A new report from St. Paul-based Wilder Research finds the number of homeless veterans -- both men and women -- in Minnesota has reached an all-time high.

Female military veterans are still a relatively small portion of the homeless population. But Wilder Research scientist Greg Owen says their numbers have increased sharply from years past.

"I do think that reflects the recruitment strategies the military have used, and the larger number of women serving in an all-volunteer army," said Owen. "The fact we're seeing them as part of the homeless population, with some of the same distress and injuries as their male counterparts, is not surprising. It's distressing, but not surprising."

Owen says many of the homeless military veterans participated in the Gulf wars and the war in Afghanistan, and they report trauma and head injuries common to those wars.

Wilder estimates homelessness in Minnesota has increased 25 percent from 2006.

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