AveNEWS December 2017

With your help, Avenues will be home to more than 300 youth in 2018. 

Put your money where your heart is and give the gift of home to a youth experiencing homelessness in 2018.

Upcoming Events
Dream Tours 
Attend a one hour Dream Tour, and we'll answer your questions about youth homelessness while touring one of our three facilities.  Individuals and groups are welcome. All tours are 5:30 -6:30 pm.
January: Our January tour has been replaced with our Meet and Greet Open House on Jan. 10th at Minneapolis Avenues with our new Executive Director 
March 7: Minneapolis Avenues

Dream Tours are by appointment only. Contact Craig Freeman to schedule your tour at 612-844-2005 or by email
Doesn't that look delicious? Stop in at  Sencha Tea this winter and enjoy a Vanilla Cookie Crumble - served hot or cold! Proceeds from the drink benefit Avenues. 
Looking for something to do New Years Eve?  Esera Tuaolo's Super Bowl Inclusion Party brings the LGBT and NFL communities closer together and raises financial, educational, and networking support for diversity and anti-bullying organizations. Come have fun, dance, and see some great performances while you support a great cause - Avenues! Click here for details.
Sponsorship opportunities are now available for our 5th annual Building on Dreams breakfast on May 1!  Your sponsorship will help us inspire over 300 guests to support youth in building their dreams.  Click here for more details.
This Month 
In addition to our volunteers, donors and community partners we'd like to take time to thank the foundations that have generously supported our youth in the past months. Thank you for making our work possible! 


Beverly Foundation 
Casey Albert T. O'Neil Foundation
Charlson Foundation
I & G Foundation
John Larsen Foundation 
Luther Family Foundation 
Minneapolis CPED /ESG
Wells Foundation
Wish List
We keep our wish lists updated with our current needs. Click here for a printable list. S hop locally and deliver to Avenues. Contact Craig Freeman  to schedule your delivery. 

Or shop online at  Amazon , Target and Walmart

Conduct your own in-kind donation drive at your workplace, neighborhood, faith or civic organization! Avenues makes it easy: if you want to hold a drive, we will supply donation bins and marketing materials. Our staff can even drop off and pick up the bins and supplies. Contact Craig
Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter 
  Avenues for Homeless Youth

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

I am humbled and honored to join the Avenues family. I have been working with youth in some capacity for almost 20 years. Young people inspire me with their resilience, passion and intelligence. I believe that young people know what they need to become their best selves and it is our job to listen to them and support them on their journey. Avenues does that better than any organization I know. Every day, amazing staff use youth-centered, principles- and evidence-based practices to help more than 300 youth each year go from surviving the streets to thriving young adulthood.

We cannot do this without you! I have been at Avenues less than a month and already I am overwhelmed by the strength, breadth and depth of our community backing. From backpacks stuffed with essentials to holiday gifts to volunteer cleaners and painters to checks and on-line donations, the support has been pouring in. From all of us at Avenues, thank you so much for all you do for our community's youth.

Avenues has grown and evolved tremendously and I am excited to be a part of the next chapter. I know that you are, too! Please start 2018 with a donation to Avenues. Together we can end youth homelessness.


Katherine Meerse, Ph.D. 
Executive Director 

Katherine Meerse, Ph.D., Avenues' New Executive Director 

Meet our New Executive Director on January 10!

Please join us on Wednesday, January 10th from 5:30-6:30pm at Minneapolis Avenues for a meet and greet with Avenues' new Executive Director, Katherine Meerse. 

Katherine joined Avenues on December 11, 2017 following an extensive search conducted by the Board of Directors with assistance from Ballinger I Leafblad. She succeeds Deborah Loon, who announced her plan earlier this year to step down after nearly ten years leading the
organization. Read our full announcement here. 

Snacks and refreshments will be provided and all ages are welcome. 
RSVP to Craig Freema n, email or 612-844-2005

Volunteers from St. Gerard Majella who organized Avenues holiday gift program this year. 

Thank You for Making the Holidays Bright this Year

There are so many people and organizations we want to thank for their overwhelming support this month!

On Dec. 9 volunteers wrapped over 400 presents for our youth. This means that ALL our youth, and the children in Avenues for Young Families Program, will receive presents this holiday. This would not have been possible without the help of 30 volunteers, 12 organizations and corporations that donated presents, and Brookdale Covenant Church for allowing us to store and wrap presents in their space. 

We'd also like thank the organizations and individuals that volunteered or collected donations for Avenues. Thank you so much for helping us start 2018 off with a bang! 

Minneapolis Avenues Case Managers, Caitlin Rolf and Sheila Shelton

Year in Review: Interview with Minneapolis Avenues Case Managers

A Story that We Remember:  *Kia, a young woman at Minneapolis Avenues, qualified for individual housing but had to deny it. The housing was too far from her job without transportation, so she went back on the list for housing closer to her job. 

Unexpectedly she became pregnant, and didn't qualify for individual housing anymore. Kia was on the list for family housing, which is harder to obtain, and time was running out. We had to find her housing before the baby was born. 

We began working closely with Kia on her family issues. We connected with Kia's grandmother, and were able to coach her through conversations with her family. There were a lot of tears and long talks, but we were able to reunite her with her grandmother.

After giving birth to a beautiful baby girl, Kia moved in with her grandmother, where she has been living ever since. Both her and her baby are doing well, and Kia remains close with Avenues.
Things We Noticed in 2017: A large portion of our youth are becoming homeless just after they turn 18 because mom or dad told them they have to leave. 

Goal for 2018: To strengthen and continue independent living skills.  Currently we host three classes a week on topics like independent living, getting and maintaining housing, financial literacy, cooking, parenting, building healthy relationships, education and career, and identifying good and bad decisions. We want to build youth participation so that every young person leaves Avenues with the skills they need to live independently. 
*The youth name has been changed