AveNEWS October 2017
With your support, more than 300 homeless youth will find safety and support at Avenues this year! Donate to help homeless youth move from surviving 
to thriving!   

Thank You, Board Members, for Your Service 
Avenues for Homeless Youth is guided by a Board of Directors of community volunteers. We are blessed to have a diversity of experiences, skills and perspectives on our Board. This October, we say thank you to two individuals leaving the Board after providing strong leadership and support as Avenues returned to health and grew significantly to serve more youth. Thank you, Brian Gilligan and Doris Pagelkopf!

Thank you, Doris Pagelkopf, for your 10 years of service on Avenues' Board of Directors. 

Thank you, Brian Gilligan, for your 11 years of service on Avenues' Board of Directors.
We're Hiring
1. Youth Support Specialist
    (On Call)
ED Search Update
The Search Committee of Avenues' Board of Directors continues its work to select the organization's next Executive Director. Deborah Loon is continuing in the role until the process is concluded. All inquiries about the position should go to Marcia Ballinger  at Ballinger I Leafblad.
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. An Avenues' youth may co-lead the tour, depending on availability.  Individuals and groups are welcome. All tours are 5:30 -6:30 pm.
November 6: Brooklyn Avenues
December 6: Minneapolis Avenues
January 10: Queer Avenues 

Dream tours are by appointment only. Contact Craig Freeman to schedule your tour at 612-844-2005 or by email
This Month 

Shout out to the affordable housing advocates who toured Brooklyn Avenues as part of the Homes for All bus tour. 

Thank you, Katie Muller, for hosting a fundraiser for Avenues! Thanks to the success of her event, Katie was able to buy almost 100 pairs of new shoes, 25 packs of socks, back packs and scarves for the youth and young families. Thank you, Katie and everyone who donated to the cause! 

The Food Group donated and planted four fruit trees at Minneapolis Avenues. We now have two cherry and two pear trees, in addition to the apples trees already in the yard!
Target Logo
Thank you, Target! We are grateful for your strong support and continued confidence in Avenues' programs and youth.

Thank you to the Renters Warehouse volunteers for their hard work - Pam, Steph, Jackie, Josh, Brianna, Marissa, Trevor, Kaitlyn, Lisa and Lamar! Volunteers deep cleaned the house, did yard work and much more at Minneapolis Avenues. 

Thank you, Otto Bremer Trust, for your continued support of Avenues and commitment to building a strong community! 

We are grateful to John Larsen, Mike Stewart, Rosie Benser and Jacob for hosting a fundraiser for the GLBT Host Home Program this month. The fundraiser raised over $15,000 (and counting), which will be DOUBLED thanks to the challenge match of three generous donors. Thank you to our gracious hosts, and everyone who attended and donated! 
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
Administrative Offices:

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

Every single action you take to help youth experiencing homelessness gets one more young person on their path to a thriving young adulthood. I really mean that.

There are 6,000 young people every night in Minnesota who don't have a safe, stable place to call home.  6,000 is a staggering number , but it's not an impossible number! I believe that, as a committed and caring community, we can end youth homelessness.

November is National Youth Homelessness Awareness month. Your involvement today is critical. 

What can you do? Talk with others. Vote! Check out our wish list and donate. Organize an in-kind donation drive. Volunteer (at Avenues or a partner agency)! Learn about becoming a host home. Make an online donation. 

Thank you for caring about our community's youth and connecting with Avenues. 

Deborah Loon
Executive Director 

Get Engaged: It's National Youth Homelessness Awareness Month 

Every night in Minnesota, 6000 youth are homeless and on their own - and that's a conservative estimate. You can make a difference! This November, we invite you to attend an Avenues event (options below), connect with us to volunteer, and  learn more about youth homelessness in Minnesota

Join Us at our Upcoming Events! 

Nov. 1: Little Italy's Nourishing Dreams Kick-Off
Where: Donato's Floral, 4701 36th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55422
When: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm 
What:  Mama Donato is back for our 2nd annual kick-off to Nourishing Dreams! Join us for a family-friendly Italian evening featuring woodfired pizzas, Italian dinner, free Wicked Wort beer samples, Italian music sing-along and a raffle! Proceeds from the evening will help support one of Avenues biggest costs: feeding our youth. 

Nov. 4: Minnesota 6000 6K
Where: Elm Creek Park Reserve,12400 James Deane Pkwy, Maple Grove, Minnesota 55369
When: 9:30 am - 12:00 pm 
What: Run or walk the Minnesota 6000 6K to support youth experiencing homelessness in your community! 

Nov. 6: Brooklyn Avenues Dream Tour 
Where: Brooklyn Avenues, 7210 76th Avenue N.
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428
When: 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
What: Attend a one hour Dream Tour to learn more about youth homelessness in Minnesota, and what Avenues is doing in the Brooklyn Park area to help. 

Nov. 8: Nourishing Dreams 
What: Local restaurants are raising awareness and funds by donating part of their profits to Avenues on Nov. 8. All funds raised will help Avenues in serving over 30,000 meals a year to our youth! You eat out and Avenues raises money. 

Nov. 14: Host Home Information Session 
Where: MoveFwd, 1001 MN-7 #237,
Hopkins, MN 55305
When: 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm 
What:  The Minneapolis and Suburban Host Home Program is hosting an information session for folks to learn about Avenues' host home programs. Youth-specific shelter beds in Minnesota are limited, leaving the vast majority of homeless youth without stable housing options. Host homes are a creative, community-based solution. Come learn at this no-obligation information session. Can't attend or want more information? Contact Ashley Morgan, Program Manager. 

Nov. 16: Give to the Max Day 
What: Save the date! Become a monthly, recurring donor on Give to the Max Day and we'll send you an Avenues t-shirt! 

Pictured l to r: Senator Scott Dibble, Deborah Loon, Representative Jenifer Loon and Representative Peter Fischer (and Avenues' Finance & Operations Director!)

October 25 Proclaimed "Deb Loon Day" in Minnesota! 

Deborah Loon, Avenues' Executive Director of almost 10 years, was honored by Governor Mark Dayton, the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate for her years of service to youth experiencing homelessness. October 25, 2017 was proclaimed "Deb Loon Day" in Minnesota!  Senator Scott Dibble presented the honor at Indeed We're Grateful, a celebration in honor of Deb. 

Thank you to everyone who joined Deb for Indeed We're Grateful! She had a blast and was completely surprised (even speechless for a couple minutes). Shout out to Indeed Brewery for donating net profits from that night to Avenues, and to Kelly, who nominated Avenues for Indeed We Can. 

Celebrating Moving Out Day 

In October, *Aaron celebrated his last day living at Minneapolis Avenues by painting pictures for the staff and his friends. His favorite painting is shown above. 

After 18 months of living at Minneapolis Avenues, Aaron moved into his own apartment at Prior Crossings in St. Paul. He moved into Avenues in spring 2016 because his family wasn't able to take care of him. 

"At first I thought I was going to stay here until things went right with my family, but I just figured since I'm here why don't I try to achieve my own goals and move on." 

Aaron said it was hard to adjust during his first months at Avenues, but eventually he built close relationships with other youth and staff. 

"I made friends with people I never thought I would. I realized I had a stronger bond relating to youth at Avenues than with my other friends who didn't understand what I was going through," Aaron explained. 

When he moved into Avenues, Aaron had five goals --obtain housing, finish high school, get his drivers license, learn some new hobbies, and move out of the state. He's on track to finish high school this year, and recently obtained his drivers permit. ,

"I have to take credit - I'm proud of myself," Aaron said about his accomplished goals. "I'm leaving Avenues with so much more than I had." 

Congratulations, Aaron, on achieving your goals and moving into your new apartment! 
*The youth's name has been changed.
Avenues takes part in Archie Green Fellowship 

Rocki Simões, Avenues' GLBT Host Home Program Manager, has been featured in a project that documents American history and culture through people's work. Social service provider and longtime friend of Avenues, Margaret Miles, interviewed Rocki as part of her Archie Green Fellowship project, through which she is documenting workers who provide emergency services for the homeless in three cities: Bismarck, Chicago and Minneapolis-St Paul.

"When you describe what you do 40 hours a week, it tells so much more about our history and culture," Margaret explained. "I wanted to show a broad variety of services addressing homelessness."

Rocki was interviewed for her work with the GLBT Host Home Program. Other interviewed organizations include the Night Ministry Health Outreach Bus (a bus that brings health care support to tent cities in Chicago), and Ministry on the Margin, an agency that supports folks transitioning out of prison. 

"You would think we would know all the best practices," Margaret said about homeless service providers. "But the work is ever-changing in a field of rapid-responders. We're all trying to create quicker ways to help people get out of homelessness."

Although Margaret interviewed many organizations with different approaches to ending homelessness, she found common themes in the work being done and among those doing the work. 

"Nobody was complacent. Nobody thought their work was the best. Everyone was continually evaluating and adjusting their work, and intentionally listening to the homeless to hear what they had to say. As soon as we stop listening, our work becomes ineffective." 

Margaret's project, including Rocki's interview, will be archived in the Library of Congress.