West Central Minnesota

Continuum of Care


Are you interested in helping reduce inequities in our homeless response system? Do you want more data on system equity? If so, please contact us and learn more about how to be involved in West Central equity planning. 

Equity Data

The West Central CoC conducts an annual equity analysis to determine if inequities exist in our homeless response system. Below are the results of our findings.  


  • Native Americans, African Americans, and All other Races together only make up 17% of the population but 49% of those experiencing homelessness.
  • Native Americans represented 22% of those experiencing homelessness, 19% in emergency shelter, 19% in transitional housing, and 16% in permanent housing.
  • Whites represented 51% of those experiencing homelessness, 63% in emergency shelter, 50% in transitional housing, 51% in permanent housing.
  • African Americans represented 17% of those experiencing homelessness, 18% in emergency shelter, 20% in transitional housing, 20% in permanent housing.
  • Whites have the highest returns to homelessness at 53%, followed by Native Americans, at 18%.
Why Prioritize Equity?
Data shows inequity: National and regional data show disparities in who experiences homelessness and, in some instances, the outcomes within the homeless system. Persons who are black, indigenous, Hispanic (non-white), and LGBTQ are disproportionally more likely to experience homelessness than their white, straight, and gender conforming counterparts.
COVID has shown systemic biases and disparities: COVID-19 has amplified the historic and current racial biases and discrimination embedded in our systems, processes, and practices.
HUD Priority: HUD is emphasizing system and program changes to address equity within CoCs, including Racial Equity as one of it’s 7 priorities to end homelessness. Equity goals are tied to scoring in this years NOFO.
Support quality services: We have a responsibility to ensure services are delivered by organizations equipped to meet the needs of those who are most vulnerable.
Needs time and attention to move forward: Setting goals explicitly related to increasing equity and evaluating progress should be part of the overall planning process and not an afterthought.
Impact: While some things are out of our control, we can make system changes that impact system disparities.

Steps to assess how equitable your program is: 

  • Does your organization staff and leadership reflect the population you serve?
  • Do your mission, vision, and goals identify reaching out to populations you wish to serve?
  • Do your media documents intentionally target communities you want to serve?
  • Do you track organizational and program outcomes by qualitative or quantitative data that include             equity data?
  • Do you have plans to improve their diversity and representation?
  • How accessible is your organization is to the community (including things like hours in operation,             locations, staff capacity, and intake ability)?
  • Utilize the IDI or other equity assessment.