The picture of homelessness looks a lot different in rural America than the metro areas where large groups of people tend to congregate together in encampments or other common spaces popular for shelter. In rural areas where people and property are more spread out, homelessness can mean sleeping in vehicles, hiding in the wilderness or even couch-surfing. No matter the location, the issue is the same. Homelessness means the lack of safe, stable housing.
Providing help to those without housing requires investments - in food and clothing, temporary living accommodations, transportation and more. In order to fully address homelessness, you have to know how many people are affected. As a starting point, the Northeast Minnesota Continuum of Care (NE MN CoC) organizes an annual homeless count.