The mission of Avenues for Homeless Youth is to provide emergency shelter, short-term housing and supportive services for homeless youth in a safe and nurturing environment. Through such service, Avenues seeks to help youth achieve their personal goals and make a positive transition into young adulthood.
Impact and Programs
During fiscal year 2016, Avenues for Homeless Youth provided shelter, transitional housing and comprehensive support services to 319 youth experiencing homelessness. It continued to operate four programs and launched its fifth program, the ConneQT Host Home Program, in April 2016.
- Minneapolis Avenues, our 21-bed shelter and transitional housing program in North Minneapolis, supported 188 youth. Of those, 88 youth lived at Avenues for an average of 87 days and another 100 used the overnight emergency bed at least one night.
- Brooklyn Avenues, our 12-bed shelter and transitional housing program in Brooklyn Park, supported 104 young people. Of those, 37 lived in the program for 108 days and 67 used the emergency bed for at least one night.
- The GLBT Host Home Program supported 15 young people in the homes of trained volunteers (host homes).
- The Minneapolis and Suburban Host Home Program supported 7 youth.
- The ConneQT Host Home Program supported 5 youth during its ramp-up phase that started in April 2016.
Avenues has grown significantly in the last few years, with the opening of Brooklyn Avenues (February 2015), launch of the ConneQT Host Home Program (April 2016) and creation of Avenues for Young Families rapid rehousing program (January 2017). This year, Avenues will support more than 300 homeless youth. Our immediate focus is to raise the resources needed to sustain our recent program growth.
We will continue implementation of "The 9 Evidence-Based, Guiding Principles to Help Youth Overcome Homelessness." To read the “9 Principles,” go to -- http://www.terralunacollaborative.com/publications/.
This summary paragraph wraps the principles together: The principles begin with the perspective that youth are on a journey; all of our interactions with youth are filtered through that journey perspective. This means we must be trauma-informed, non-judgmental and work to reduce harm. By holding these principles, we can build a trusting relationship that allows us to focus on youths’ strengths and opportunities for positive development. Through all of this, we approach youth as whole beings through a youth-focused collaborative system of support.
Avenues also will continue expanding our mental health programming. Avenues added in-house mental health therapy a number of years ago, but is working to make our mental health therapist a full-time member of our team. In addition, we are adding mental health interns to add capacity and help train future therapists. We especially desire to build the capacity of therapists to provide culturally-competent services for youth of color and youth who identify as LGBTQ.
Our mental health team has several important and expanding roles at Avenues – (1) provide individual therapy to youth, (2) provide family therapy as desired to strengthen family relationships, (3) lead clinical case consultations with our team of case managers and (4) expand our mental health internship program.
Community or Constituency Served
Homeless youth ages 16 to 24.
Geographic Area Served
Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (primarily Hennepin County)