About the Program
In January 2017, Avenues launched Avenues for Young Families. Through this program, 12 homeless young families have access to apartment-search support, temporary rent assistance and a full range of supportive services. The program supports homeless youth ages 18 to 24 who are parents and their young children. It accommodates 1 and 2-parent families.
Supportive services are designed to help the young families remain stably housed and pursue goals for independent living, education, job training and employment, parenting skills and healthy child development. The rent subsidies available through this program are from a HUD grant awarded to Avenues.
Avenues for Young Families is an extension of the work we have always provided to homeless youth, especially our youth in after-care who are parenting. It is helping fill a huge gap in the community. In Minnesota, 35% of homeless youth are parents. Most of them are not with their children, as there is very little age-appropriate housing for a significant number of homeless young families that access Hennepin County’s family shelters.
About Youth Homelessness
The causes of youth homelessness are varied. Many young people are homeless due to lack of affordable and accessible housing, poverty, neglect, substance abuse, mental health issues and physical and sexual abuse. Others become homeless due to severe family conflict that grows out of lack of support around sexual orientation and gender expression and identity. A disproportionate number of homeless youth (20-40%) identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ). Many are living in the streets and vulnerable to exploitation.