To the Avenues Community
I attended a dialogue hosted last week by the Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness, where senior clergy from four faith traditions explored their shared value of working for the "Common Good." That shared value led 17 congregations to join together as the DCEH and get actively engaged in ending homelessness.
It was a privilege to listen to their shared wisdom and witness both their passion and the respect and love they have for each other. I left inspired and wanting to share with you some of my reflections from that evening:
- As a community and as a nation, we have abundance. We have plenty of resources to go around. Absolutely nobody needs to be hungry or homeless.
- We have a responsibility to respond to and care for the vulnerable and those of our community in need.
- We also have a responsibility and the opportunity to do more than just respond. We can and must get engaged in social justice work to end the injustices that lead to homelessness and hunger.
- Meeting basic needs is not enough. Everyone should have dignity and hope. All homeless persons should know and believe they are worthy of more.
- Having a place called "home" changes everything. It is from that fundamental base that an individual or family can plan for a better future, find employment, and engage with the community. Without a home, everything else seems impossible.
I am pleased to announce Avenues is working with the DCEH to create a Minneapolis Host Home Program. More on that exciting news in the very near future!
Special Fundraiser for the GLBT Host Home Program
Saturday, March 10, 5:30pm-8pm
Midtown Exchange / Chicago Lofts Party Room
2929 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Co-hosts Senator Scott Dibble & Dick Senese warmly invite you to join them for refreshments and conversation. You'll learn more about youth homelessness and what is being done locally to support GLBT young people. This annual fundraiser is fun and informative. Please invite your friends and join us!
Host a Homeless Youth in Your Home!
We are seeking new hosts for these vital, community-based programs. Hosting is a beautiful and effective way to share resources and support a youth experiencing homelessness. Attend an upcoming informational session to find out more!
Suburban Host Home Program Info Sessions
Thursday, March 15, 6pm
Sabes Jewish Community Center
4330 Cedar Lake Road S
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Tuesday, April 17, 6pm
7355 York Ave S
Edina, MN 55435
GLBT Host Home Program Info Sessions
Tuesday, July 31, 6-8pm
Thursday, August 9, 6-8pm
2121 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Avenues was recently granted funding from the Otto Bremer Foundation to expand our services. Avenues staff, volunteers and contractors are working tirelessly to ready the house for five additional youth. We are remodeling two existing bedrooms and have added one bedroom to accommodate 21 youth in the house - up from 16!
Construction crews have been around for two weeks and will continue work next week. Volunteers from Edina Community Lutheran Church and Globe University have been a huge help painting many of our walls. We're getting new flooring throughout the first and second floors, new bathroom vanities and sinks, and new pantry cabinets yet this month.
The youth and staff are living and working in the house throughout the remodeling. We appreciate their flexibility and patience! We can't wait to have the work completed, so the house is in tiptop shape and supporting more youth than ever.
You'll be hearing about an open house in the near future, as well as a special Board-directed fundraising campaign to sustain the expansion.
Helpful Volunteer Painters from ECLC
At the State Capitol
A proposed bonding measure to create more affordable housing in Minnesota is very good news. On the flip side, though, a bill to cut access to the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) is making its way through the legislature (HF2080). Click here to read about the harm this bill will bring to many Minnesotans who are living in poverty, especially children.
Also of note, there is an effort at the capitol to pass a ballot initiative that would require photo identification to vote. This would make it impossible for many Minnesotans to vote, including, many, many homeless persons who do not have a photo ID or a current address. The youth who move into Avenues rarely have photo identification. Our case managers help the youth get IDs, but they do not have a permanent address while living at Avenues. They only way most Avenues youth can vote is by having a staff person vouch for them at the polls.
Thank You, Recent Supporters!
First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, Jungle Red Salon Spa & Gallery, Metro Partners Fund (McKnight Youth Grant / Heading Home Minnesota), Minneapolis Jewish Federation, Sundance Family Foundation, Wilde Roast Cafe
David & Yvonne Blanchard, Katy Ghiasi & Hossein Akhavipour, Sherri Henderson, Morton & Merle Kane Family Philanthropic Fund, Shelley Kline, Sarah LeDoux, Mike Lewis, Cary Walski, Jason Weidemann
GLBT Host Home Program Donors
Tim Baldoni, Catherine Hare & Janice Knieff, Timothy Lapean, Elizabeth Reid, Karen Zentner Bacig
Suburban Host Home Program Donors
Joseph & Dawn Keller
Deb Bishop, Erin Campbell, Charlene Cervenka, Elk River UCC, Ron Engh, Phyllis Kaiser, Microsoft, Minnesota Association for Justice, The Minnesota Vikings, Joseph Oknich, Terry Paetzel, Second Harvest Heartland
Avenues Board of Directors, Larry Barthel, Edina Community Lutheran Church, Ron Engh, GLBT Host Home Program Advisory Council & Hosts, Globe University, Diana Kennedy, Clayton Roberts, Suburban Host Home Program Action Council, Jason Weidemann
Wilde Roast Cafe hosted a wonderful promotion for us throughout the month of February. Dinner patrons were able to purchase select menu items and have dollars donated directly to Avenues. Thank you, Wilde Roast Cafe, for selecting Avenues as the inaugural organization for this new special monthly promotion!
Jungle Red, a full service salon, spa and gallery located on the southern edge of downtown Minneapolis, hosted its 10th annual "Treasures for Teens" fundraiser party for Avenues on February 18. The event included a silent auction and all proceeds will come to Avenues. We'd like to extend a huge THANK YOU to all the staff and volunteers who made this event possible!
Connect With Us
Avenues for Homeless Youth
1708 Oak Park Ave. N
Minneapolis, MN 55411
Want to help?
If you would like to donate or have any questions, contact Mike Meyer: firstname.lastname@example.org
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