AveNEWS June 2017
More than 300 homeless youth find safety and support at Avenues every year! To help homeless youth move from surviving to thriving, please donate.   

Help Wanted: Are You Handy?
Avenues is hiring a part-time 
Maintenance Technician to help us repair and maintain our three locations. Duties include light maintenance, wall and window repair, painting, grounds inspection, furniture repair, some plumbing work.

Click on the link above to apply for a part-time position as our Maintenance Technician.

If you are handy and interested in volunteering, please email Craig Freeman  or call 612-844-2005.

Other positions at Avenues: 
Marketing & Communications Intern 
Youth Support Specialist 
Introducing Avenues Dream Tours
Missed our recent open houses? Not to worry.  Starting in August, we will host monthly  Avenues Dream Tours for people who want to learn more and get engaged with Avenues. The tours will rotate between our three program sites -- Brooklyn Avenues, Minneapolis Avenues and Queer Avenues. 

Tours will be 4:30-6:00 pm and are by appointment only.  Contact Julia O'Brien to schedule your tour on the following dates:
August 2: Brooklyn Avenues
September 6: Minneapolis Avenues
October 4: Queer Avenues 
Learn more about Avenues by watching our video! 
This Month 
Thank you to everyone who attended our Brooklyn Avenues and Minneapolis Avenues open houses. And a very special thank you to the volunteers who helped us get ready by cleaning, mulching, weeding, painting and much more!

Thank you to the following: 

Volunteers from Northfield United Methodist Church -- Rev. Rachel McIver Morey, Calvin Weis, Marilee Roby, Loudon Weis, and Lisa Weis.

Volunteers from Best Buy.

Volunteers from Best Vendors Management

Volunteers from Thomson Reuters.

Thanks to our friend Joe Deschler, Avenues' youth enjoyed a fun day on Lake Bde Maka Ska this month! The weather was perfect for youth to enjoy kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding. Thank you Joe!
Thank you to Topline Federal Credit Union and Murray Middle School for your Personal Care Drive! Murray Middle School donated over 50 Care Kits to the Topline's drive. Each bag contained a note card with an inspirational message from a student and a variety of personal care items. Thank you! 
Avenues Wish List
We've updated our wish lists with our current needs.  Click here for a printable list. S hop locally and deliver to Avenues. Please contact Craig Freeman to schedule your delivery ahead. Or shop online at  Amazon , Target and Walmart

Avenues makes in-kind donation drives easy: if your organization wants 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, if needed.
Wanted: Host Homes to Change Lives and Build Community

Avenues' host home programs recruit, screen and train adult volunteers who are willing to share their home with a young person experiencing homelessness. Individuals, couples and families are welcome to apply. Avenues staff provides training and ongoing support for youth and hosts in the program. 

Our program managers describe hosting as a "messy and magical" experience for both youth and hosts. The young people who participate get basic needs met and a genuine connection to adults who share their homes and lives -- vitally important for a successful launch to young adulthood! For hosts, this is a powerful way to foster hope, healing, self-determination, leadership and change in young people. 

Host homes literally change lives and build community. To learn more, visit our website and contact one of our program managers.

Report to the Community
In case you missed it in an earlier enews, check out our FY16 Report to the Community. Fiscal Year 2016 was a big one for Avenues -- we started the ConneQT Host Home Program, prepared to launch Avenues for Young Families, and had the first full year of operations of Brooklyn Avenues. With the community's support, we were able to support more than 300 young people. If you would like a hard copy, please contact Rachel Blair, 612-844-2001 or by email.
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Avenues for Homeless Youth
Administrative Offices:

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

June was a month of celebrations at Avenues! 
We celebrated with 18 youth in our programs as they graduated from high school and attained their GEDs. Their persistence paid off, despite the odds against them. In this issue, you'll find a touching letter a youth recently wrote to our Brooklyn Avenues staff as the youth graduated from high school and moved into an apartment. 

We also celebrated Pride in June with booths at the Golden Valley Pride and Twin Cities Pride festivals. And we were deeply honored to be recognized by Twin Cities Pride with its Community Champion of Pride Award for 2017. 

Finally, we celebrate the many volunteers and groups that blessed us with their generosity of time and financial support this month. Please join me in thanking those we recognize in this and every newsletter issue. 

Closing out a fiscal year isn't exactly cause for celebration, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't mention money!! As we close out our fiscal year this Friday, June 30, funding is at the top of our minds. We start a new fiscal year on July 1 with a budget of $2.8 million. We will need to raise $1.4 million in private donations from the community this year. 

Thank you for your generous support of Avenues for Homeless Youth. And for encouraging others to join you with their support, too. 
Deborah Loon
Executive Director 

A Letter from a Youth

Brooklyn Avenues staff received a beautiful letter from a youth moving out of the shelter. We share it with you with the youth's permission. 

Dear Brooklyn Avenues Staff: 

I just wanted to thank you all for everything! I'm so thankful to have had this resource. Thank you to all the night staff who opened the door for me at all crazy hours of the night. Thank you to all the day staff who never complained  about my undone chores.

I've dealt with a lot of things in life during my time here at Avenues, and I'm lucky to have had this safe place to stay at night. If it wasn't for you guys providing this stable living, I wouldn't have graduated on time! 

Thankfully, I did it and I ca n move on to bigger and better things. I know I stayed to myself a lot, but I really did appreciate everyone here.  Thank you guys so much! 

P.S.  Special thanks to Chandler for sticking close by me the whole time and never giving up on me. Thank for all the resources! You were most helpful a nd I'll never forget you. 
Back row from left: Sara Blood, Zayed Ahmed, Ryan Berg, Jana Shortal, Debbie Wyman, Deborah Loon, Chuck Peterson, Jamie Vega, Peter Fischer. Bottom row from left: Rachel Blair, Julia Blood, Michele Boyer. 
Community Champion of Pride  

Avenues is deeply honored to receive the Community Champion of Pride award for 2017 by Twin Cities Pride. This award recognizes Avenues' years of dedicated work with homeless youth who identify as LGBTQ. 

We had a blast in the Pride Parade last weekend, along with  Clare Housing, our fellow Champion of Pride. Board and staff members rode in and walked with our convertibles near the front of the parade. Thank you, Twin Cities Pride, for this recognition! 

Special Note: Avenues will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the GLBT Host Home Program this fall! More details to come about the community celebrations. 

Pictured from left: Denise Dube, Lynell Keller, Donnell Bratton, Sue Fodstad, John St. Peter, Jodi Spoden, Lynn (Bohm) Anderson.

Congratulations, Graduates!

This month, Avenues and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church volunteers celebrated the high school graduations of seven youth at Brooklyn Avenues. Each youth graduated from a different school (Avenues works hard to keep youth in the school of their choice), and many are now applying for college. 

Thanks to our friends at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, youth and their families, staff and friends enjoyed a BBQ graduation party. Prince of Peace volunteers brought and cooked food, set up decorations, and gave each youth graduation gifts. Thank you, Prince of Peace, for making our youths' graduations so special!  

Some of the goals and accomplishments of the graduating youth include: 
  • Just passed CNA courses, planning on applying for CNA jobs this summer
  • Applying to River Falls College and an art school in Minneapolis 
  • Applying for college and looking for a nursing internship 
  • Just got a job a Fed-Ex, planning on applying to culinary school 
Throughout all of our programs, we celebrated with 18 youth as they graduated high school or attained their GED. Several youth also completed their first year in college. These are incredible milestones and important steps for a thriving future. 

We are proud of you, graduates! 

Pictured above: Pull for Pride lifters and supporters

Pull for Pride Lifted Avenues  

More than 40 lifters, 30 volunteers and 200 spectators came together at Pull for Pride last weekend and raised $20,000 for Avenues! The competing lifters raised money individually for Avenues for two months. On Saturday, they tested their strength in a dead-lift only competition. 

We are so thankful for all involved in this unique fundraiser! Pull for Pride was co-hosted by Women's Strength Coalition and The Movement Minneapolis, and was made possible by the sponsorship of Renters Warehouse and Media Bridge Advertising. We're also thankful for donations by Equal Exchange, Adatrak (the DJ), Goldie Coxxx (the MC), Black Market St. Paul, Flagsmash, La La Homemade Ice Cream, Big Watt Cold Beverage Co., Five Watt Coffee, Still Kickin and Girls on the Run! 

Special thanks to Mark Schneider and Maggie Fazeli Fard for their hard work organizing Pull for Pride, and to Avenues' Board Member Alexis Kantor for volunteering and speaking at the event. 
Avenues & CEAP: Together for Good

In early May, the  Together for Good breakfast raised over $31,000 to weave a strong safety net for our neighbors! Together for Good is a joint venture of Avenues and the  Community Emergency Assistance Programs (CEAP) . Our mission is to strengthen the northwest suburban community by lifting up residents in need with a comprehensive safety net and supportive resources.

Thank you to the sponsors and attendees of this inaugural Together for Good event. These sponsors made the event possible -- Rotary Club of Brooklyn Park , Rotary Club of Brooklyn Center, MHS Companies Donato's Floral Diversified Plastics, Inc. , The Big Blue Box Champlin United Methodist Church , and  Justin Cox Photography

A special thank you to Surly Gives a Damn for the surprise $10,000 donation to Together for Good. 

Learn more about Together for Good in the video below.