AveNEWS October 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. 

Join us on Nov. 15 for free Taiko drumming performance at Southern Theater at 7:30 p.m. Megan Chao Smith, a former youth experiencing homelessness, will dedicate the performance to Avenues and other youth experiencing homelessness. 

Interested in attending? RSVP to Rocki.
Adopt A Youth Wish List This Holiday Season! 
Wanting to spread holiday cheer? Adopt a youth wish list and bring joy to a young person in our programs. Youth in all our programs fill out a five item wish list that we ask donors to shop for. Then, on Dec. 15, we host a holiday wrapping party to wrap all the gifts! Want to adopt a wish list or get involved? Contact Marni
This Month 
Thank you Michele and everyone who made the Art, Drink and Drag event possible! Art sold from local artists benefited Avenues, and drag queens donated tips to support the cause. Thank you! 
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  Avenues for Homeless Youth

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

Starburst Tropical Fruit Chews. That is a key request on the holiday wish list of an Avenues' youth. Can you imagine wanting something as simple as Starburst for the holidays and having no one in your life to fulfill that wish? The cool fall weather brings cozy thoughts of upcoming festivities - and the reminder that thousands of youth in Minnesota have no place to live and no one to celebrate with.

At the same time, fall brings many great opportunities to support youth experiencing homelessness. Adopt a youth holiday wish list and you could be the special person providing Starbursts and other longed-for items. Or you could help Avenues secure a challenge gift on Give to the Max Day. And please consider supporting us as you do your year-end giving. Grace's story, in this issue of AveNEWS, shows the impact of supporters like you!


Katherine Meerse, Ph.D. 
Executive Director 

Our Board Is Giving To The Max
Help us get their challenge gift.

Avenues' Board of Directors are challenging you to a $5,500 match for donations made before Give to the Max Day on Nov. 15. It's an all or nothing challenge - you can help!  Donate below for your donation to be doubled. 

Our goal is to raise $30,000 on Give to the Max Day, roughly the annual cost of having a part time mental health therapist at our shelters. Annually, over 100 youth experiencing homelessness have access to a mental health therapist through our mental health team. Their work is essential to our team, helping youth work through past trauma, addiction and family reunification. 

Rise to the challenge by donating before Nov. 15! 

Pictured Above: Grace (a former youth) speaking at the 2014 Building on Dreams Breakfast.  

Grace's Dreams Continue To Come True 

"Avenues was truly a blessing in my life. I still remember the graduation party they had for me when I graduated high school," Grace, a former youth from 2007, said.

Grace moved into Avenues in the summer of 2007, right before her senior year. She stayed with us for nine months before moving into her own apartment. In 2014, Grace spoke at our very first Building on Dreams Breakfast. 

"I've been thinking about what I said at the breakfast," Grace said, remembering her speech. "I talked about wanting to move to California, finish school and become a paralegal. It's so funny. I've accomplished all of that.  I will never forget Avenues. It's in my heart." 

Thank you Grace for catching up with us, and congratulations on graduating college! 
Interfaith Prayer Service For Youth Experiencing Homelessness

In early October, leaders from Brooklyn Park's churches, mosques and Native American community came together to pray for the community's homeless youth. It was an unusually cold day that day, yet 40 people from different faiths and backgrounds stood united outside, reflecting on what it would be like to be young and have to sleep outside on a day like that. 

Native leaders began the service with a smudging ceremony and a prayer to the four winds. Brother Hussain then spoke about how we are all of one planet, united, and that it doesn't matter who we individually pray too. The service concluded with a minister asking the crowd, "Do you see me hanging around?", referring to youth experiencing homelessness. 

We'd like to thank the Youth Homelessness Project of St. Gerard Majella for hosting the beautiful service and for including Avenues. The communities agreed to host another service, this spring, to continue prayer and thought for youth experiencing homelessness in Brooklyn Park.