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Minn. study finds sharp increase in homelessness

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A new study says homelessness in Minnesota has risen sharply as unemployment and foreclosures have forced people out of permanent housing.

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The survey released today by St. Paul-based Wilder Research counted nearly 9,500 homeless people -- up more than 20 percent from the last count. The organization surveys homelessness every three years.

Study director Greg Owen says people are becoming homeless after they lose jobs, lose homes to foreclosure or get evicted from rental housing.

Only one in five of those surveyed were working, the lowest level measured in two decades of surveys. More than two-fifths were on waiting lists for public housing.

Owen says many have trouble getting housing because of criminal records or credit problems.

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