Quick Facts: Minnesota

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Performance Breakdown
  • Law & Policy: 60% of metrics met
    • Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness: 92% of metrics met 

    • Preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems: 67% of metrics met 

    • Providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently: 63% of metrics met

    • Addressing the educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness: 33% of metrics met 

    • Allowing youth experiencing homelessness to access critical supports and services: 39% of metrics met 

  • Systems: 72% of metrics met 
  • Environment: 24% of metrics met

State Score 2021: 56
State Ranking 2021: 21

2021 Score

2020 Score



Minnesota Highlights

Some areas where Minnesota has moved the needle relative to other states include laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness, allowing them to access critical supports and services, and implementing a multi-sector approach to addressing youth homelessness.


Law & Policy

  • The state has a state Runaway & Homeless Youth Act.

  • The state doesn’t consider running away a criminal offense.

  • The state allows shelters to take in homeless youth with a delay or waiver of notification requirements.



  • There is a current state plan to end homelessness.

    • The state plan has a "youth" and LGBTQ component.

  • There is a state interagency council on homelessness.

  • The state provides tuition waivers for foster youth.



  • The state promotes safe and inclusive environments in child welfare programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the North Star State, with emphasis on the Environment category. Creating a more welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for youth experiencing homelessness should be prioritized.


Law & Policy

  • The state should explicitly allow partial and alternative school credit accrual for homeless youth through regulations.

  • Establish a formal process for emancipation.

  • The state should explicitly allow unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage without parental consent.



  • Create a state entity – such as an Office of Homeless Youth Services – that focuses solely on designing, implementing, and evaluating youth homelessness programs.

  • The state should allow minors to obtain state-issued ID without parental consent.



  • Require training about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, healthy sexual development, or issues specific to LGBTQ youth for staff working in runaway and homeless youth systems.

  • The state should establish and maintain a stipended community advisory board for youth that informs youth homelessness policy (Youth Action Board).

  • The state should establish nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ youth in youth homelessness services.

  • Ban harmful and ineffective service provision that includes conversion therapy. 

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