AveNEWS June 2018

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

This Month 

This month folks dressed in their best red attire, danced to the Sounds of Blackness, and donated at the Red Affair Gala to support Avenues' youth. We're still crunching the numbers, but the gala benefited young people like Hanie, a former youth who spoke at the event. 

Hanie shared her experience at Brooklyn Avenues with guests, and talked about her dream of studying South Korean culture. She shared that she'll be studying abroad next year in South Korea, and has begun learning the language. 

Thank you Suzanne Erickson and the Jungle Red Salon working with us to help youth realize and achieve dreams! Check out the event photos here

This month Erin Schwab competed against six local celebrities at the  Dancing with the Twin Cities Celebrities Ball. Celebrities competed by cha-chaing and raising funds to support their favorite charity. Thank you Erin dancing for dollars  to support Avenues! 

Minneapolis Avenues' front should be in a garden magazine thanks to North American Gay Volleyball Association volunteers! Despite hot weather, volunteers mulched, raked, weeded and our yard. Thank you! 
Thank you to our friends at TopLine Credit Union and Dunwoody College for hosting a donation drives for Avenues this month!
Uncovering the Story of Youth Homelessness - The University of Chicago 
Study shows 1 in 8 youth in Washington County affected by homelessness - Twin Cities Pioneer Press 
Wish List
We're running low on pajama bottoms and emergency bed essentials. You can help welcome a youth in our programs by donating essentials like pj's, pillows and sheets. Click here to shop our Amazon Wish List. 
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  Avenues for Homeless Youth

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

It is summer and the days are long. But no night can ever be short enough for a young person with no place to sleep. Happily, when the community comes together to support youth experiencing homelessness, wonderful things can happen.

This month we have much to celebrate. Six young people graduated from high school. In this edition of AveNEWs you can read about their dreams for the future and their next steps in getting there. Congratulations to all of our young people who demonstrate resilience and tenacity every day!

And speaking of tenacity, we celebrated Pride with a weight lifting competition. Check out Pull for Pride below! And we loved being at Twin Cities Pride all weekend, greeting friends and sharing information about youth homelessness. We so appreciate the "strong" support from the lifters and everyone in our community.
Thank you for all that you do to support Avenues and youth experiencing homeless.

Katherine Meerse, Ph.D. 
Executive Director 

P.S. it's not too late to support Pull for Pride! Help The Movement Minneapolis get to their goal of $50,000.

Dreams Of Class of 2018 

This month Avenues celebrated six high school graduations!

We're excited to share that a youth from Minneapolis Avenues received several scholarships to cover nearly all of her tuition and housing at Mount Saint Mary's College in Los Angeles. She's looking forward to moving out of Avenues at the end of the summer and moving to sunny California. 

The other graduates are dreaming big too: 
  • Starting college this winter, after her baby is born 
  • Finding a summer job and going to college part-time in the fall 
  • Studying animal sciences in college this fall, with the dream of opening a wildlife sanctuary
  • Moving from Avenues to Atlanta in the fall for college
  • Starting college this fall, majoring in criminal justice 
Thank you Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Brooklyn Park for making Brooklyn Avenues graduation party so special. For the second year, Prince of Peace cooked for our graduates and their friends and family and surprised the youth with graduation gifts. 

Congratulations graduates and youth continuing school this fall! 

A painting by a former Avenues' youth. 

Youth Expression Through Art  

"This is just an example, but imagine someone has experienced abuse and how hard it would be to talk about that," Ami Gilbert, Avenues' Arts Coordinator, explained. "Through art, we can ask that youth why they chose to paint their self without a face, or without arms, or why they picked those colors to represent them self." 

Starting this July Avenues will begin arts programming at its shelters to create a platform for youth to express their experiences. Local artists will teach photography, spoken word, painting and theater and guide youth in creating their own art projects. The program will end in February with a show case celebration to highlight their work. 

"Art offers youth a therapeutic way to express themselves," Ami said. "It's also a healthy coping mechanism." 

Avenues hopes to continue arts programming in the future and build more opportunities for youth self expression. 

This activity 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. 
Pull for Pride
Pull for Pride lifters show their strength by competing in a dead lifting competition with proceeds going to Avenues. 

Strength In Pride And Community 

More than 40 lifters dressed in their best Pride attire - rainbow-dyed beards, capes, and yes, frilly tutus - competed in a dead lifting competition to benefit Avenues over Pride weekend. Lifters achieved their personal best dead lifts, and for some, were in community for their first openly out Pride event. 

"It was fun to just come out and lift weights," one lifter said. "It's for a great cause, we all love giving back. It was a fun to come together."

Lifters of all shapes and sexual orientations cheered each other on both during the competition and while fundraising. Each lifter crowdfunded for Avenues, collectively raising over $40,000 for Avenues.

"Part of being a healthy human is exercising," said Mark Schneider, general manager of The Movement Minneapolis, "But also supporting your community." 

Avenues would like thank folks who donated, sponsored and volunteered at the event. A special thank you to Mark Schneider, the event architect, the team at The Movement Minneapolis, and Women's Strength Coalition for inspiring strength and pride in Minneapolis.