AveNEWS November 2018

6,000 youth in Minnesota won't have a stable home tonight. 
Together we can help. 

Upcoming Events
Every third Thursday of the month Avenues is hosting an open house and conversation at both shelters. Anyone is invited to come - we promise you'll leave feeling inspired and learn about youth homelessness. This is not a fundraiser but an opportunity to learn more about our work and to see what your support has gone to.More information here.  December's tours are canceled but will resume in January.
Join the Imperial Court of Minnesota for the first Ice Castle Pageant at the Saloon on Saturday, Dec. 15. For more information and tickets, visit here. Proceeds benefit Avenues.

Champlin United Methodist Church Presents Home, a warm-hearted play of the journey to Christmas. 
All proceeds will be donated to Brooklyn Avenues. Tickets are $10 and the play is on Dec. 15 from 7-9 pm. F or questions or to reserve tickets, text 612-518-0333 or email 6.4devotion@gmail.com or pick up at the Church.
This Month 

Thank you to our friends from Washington D.C. who donated 25 brand new coats and winter gear for our youth! 
Youth at Minneapolis and Brooklyn Avenues had a delicious meal on Thanksgiving Day thanks to volunteers. Shout out to the Shevlin-Woodcock family for spending their holiday at Brooklyn Avenues! 
Gifts That Give Back  

Looking for a creative gift this holiday season? You Betcha Boxes are full of Minnesota made products that are beautifully packaged and sent right to you. Plus - part of the box sales benefits Avenues. Check them our here. 

Schuler Shoes in Maple Grove is giving back 10% of sales on Dec. 14 to Avenues! 
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  Avenues for Homeless Youth

1708 Oak Park Ave North
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55411
Dear Friends:

At this time of year, I think about all the things I'm thankful for. At the top of my list this year is YOU! Thank you, beautiful community, for all that you do you to support Avenues and youth experiencing homelessness. Thank you, volunteers, for giving your precious time to cook delicious meals, make our gardens grow, share your skills and expertise with youth, and keep our shelters beautiful. Thank you hosts, for opening your homes to young people experiencing homelessness for a few nights, months, or years. Thank you, donors - your dollars make an impact every day.

We were overwhelmed by the speed in which all of the youth holiday wish lists were snapped up. I love picturing you out there, searching out just the right thing to fulfill a young person's wishes and picturing, in turn, their delight when they receive their gifts.

While the wish lists have been claimed, there are still plenty of ways to support Avenues during the holiday season. Donate here - your financial support allows us to remain nimble and flexible and meet the ever-changing needs of youth as they arrive. Or visit our website to learn about other ways to support Avenues.


Katherine Meerse, Ph.D. 
Executive Director 

Thank You For Giving To The Max

Thanks to your generosity on Give to the Max Day, we soared past our $30,000 goal to provide access to mental health therapy at both our shelters! Avenues won the Super Sized Grand Prize of $10,000 thanks to a lucky Avenues donor, and we met our all or nothing board match. 

Your support breaks down barriers youth experiencing homelessness face. Thank you for making an impact! 

Paintings made during art classes at Avenues.

Art Makes An Impact On Mental Health 

"There are youth at Brooklyn Avenues that are very loyal to the arts program. They will come to me and ask if can we paint. This is their way of coming to group therapy," Lindsay Strong, an Avenues mental health intern, explained.

This summer Avenues started an arts program at both shelters to create an outlet for youth expression and emotion. The program focuses on four modes of art -painting, photography, acting and music. The classes have unintentionally served as a form of art therapy for several of the youth.

"The youth have a huge stigma about seeing a therapist. Calling it therapy doesn't work - they won't come. The art classes work because it's fun for the youth and the therapeutic part happens on accident," Lindsay said.

Lindsay that she's seen a huge impact on youth in the program. She sees their self-esteem being built up and youth coming out of their shells, especially in the acting classes. Youth at Brooklyn Avenues are using art as a way of welcoming new house members to the group. It's been so successful that Lindsay connected with a retired art therapist to get their old supplies for the shelters.  

"There's something about being creative that allows us to think differently about our situations, the way we're living, and the hard stuff. It opens up a different perspective without doing it on purpose," Lindsay said.
Avenues arts program is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. 

You're Invited To Our Holiday Wrapping Party 

Looking for a fun way to volunteer this holiday season? We're looking for volunteers of all ages to wrap holiday gifts for our youth. We'll provide the supplies, hot coco and holiday music, and you help us wrap gifts for youth and children in our programs. This is a great opportunity for families to volunteer with Avenues.

The wrapping party is on Saturday, December 15, from 8-3 pm at Brookdale Covenant Church in Brooklyn Center. We're looking for volunteers to sort gifts and set up from 8-10 am, then wrap gifts starting at 10 am.