KEYC - Greater Mankato Homelessness Summarized Before P.I.T. Count Rele

Greater Mankato Homelessness Summarized Before P.I.T. Count Release

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Regional data from 2016 found 118 homeless households and 188 homeless people in Blue Earth County, but information like this may go unnoticed, because we do not see people physically sleeping on the streets.

Supportive Housing Supervisor Andrew Pietsch said rural Minnesota does not illustrate traditional homelessness.  

"In rural Minnesota, it's not that traditional homelessness that we think about, and those much larger urban areas like in Chicago or New York," said Pietsch. "It's rather a hidden problem in southern Minnesota, and there's a lot of doubled up or couch hopping happening, just with the lack of shelter beds."

Salvation Army Major John Pjellman said their case managers work with individuals, to get on the right track and maintain that status.

"Part of our success has been here is we've been using a thing called S.T.E.P.S. [sheltering to encourage personal solutions]," said Pjellman.

Pietsch said the data of the 2018 Point–In–Time count, which breaks down the numbers on those without homes, will be released towards the end of January.

He said the information is important in developing the steps to help those in need.

"The important thing about that P.I.T. count is that, that's the annual number that HUD uses to allocate out across the nation," said Pietsch. 

"If we do a really bad job of counting, we're risking losing funding to our region to actually support these individuals, that are extremely vulnerable and need stable housing."

Pietsch said the department of supportive housing wants to help people, but because of past shifts in legislation, individuals must first seek the proper resources.