Homelessness and the need for supportive housing on tribal lands are not well understood. Better understanding the size, scope, and needs of homeless individuals can give Tribes the leverage they need to advocate for the public resources that they need for housing and services. To this end, CSH is excited to release a new resource titled Conducting Homeless Counts on Native Lands: A Toolkit. CSH and Housing Assistance Council (HAC) collaborated with tribal entities, tribal funding agencies and Wilder Research to create this unique toolkit that can be used by tribal entities as a guide to conducting homelessness counts. Funded by HUD, this toolkit includes a literature review of overcrowding and tribal housing information, the experiences and lessons learned from the Minnesota reservation homelessness survey, examples of memorandums of understanding, the survey tool used in Minnesota, tribal government resolutions and case studies.
The manifestation of homelessness is different on native lands than in other areas of the United States, and Tribes often have their own traditional ways of understanding homelessness. It is important that efforts to quantify homelessness in these areas take these differences into account in order to get counts that accurately reflect the size of the population and cultural definitions of homelessness. This toolkit describes the process undertaken in Minnesota by several Tribes, CSH, Wilder Research and the Minnesota Department of Human Services developed to better understand homelessness and related service needs. This toolkit was created, not only as a flexible guide, but to increase awareness and to share information about what homelessness looks like on native lands.
CSH would like to acknowledge and thank the many individuals that contributed to the content of this toolkit, in particular our colleagues at the Housing Assistance Council that invited us to partner with them, and Amy Wicklund, Economic Development Planner at Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa for sharing their real world experiences.