Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Major new study highlights the deadly toll of being homeless in Minnesota

Homeless individuals are dying at three times the rate of the general population, researchers found


February 13, 2023

Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune file

Outreach workers Leah Skjefte, left, and Dava Beaulieu, headed back to their van after distributing hand warmers and snacks to some residents of an encampment near the Cedar Riverside towers in Minneapolis in December 2022.

Jonda Crum has a recurring dream in which she is wandering a deserted city after nightfall, desperately seeking a warm place to sleep, but every door in every building is locked and no one can hear her pleas for help.

The nightmareonce was close to a daily reality for Crum, who spent a decade living on the streets, struggling with addiction, before a near-fatal medical emergency compelled her to seek treatment and stable housing. "These days, I feel grateful to be alive," said Crum, of North St. Paul, who provides peer support for people in recovery from substance use. "I probably aged two years for every year that I lived on the streets."

Crum's experience underscores the devastating health risks of being homeless.


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