BECOME A HOST HOME

Avenues host home programs provide housing, basic needs and support to youth experiencing homelessness. The goal is for youth to have a stable place to live and necessities like food, so that they can focus on their goals and next steps. Volunteer hosts share their space and food with a youth who lives with them for a few days up to a year, or longer, depending on the program.

Avenues for Homeless Youth manages three separate host home programs: the GLBT Host Home Program, which provides transitional, longer-term housing for youth who identify as LGBTQ, the ConneQT Host Home Program, which provides more emergency-based and shorter-term housing for LGBTQ youth, and a pilot BIPOC Host Home Program, which will provide black, indigenous and youth of color with hosts with shared identity. All of these programs have a commitment to being informed by a philosophy of solidarity, not charity; we believe that communities can thrive when we share our resources from the perspective of ‘us and us’ and not ‘us and them’.

There are many unknowns when it comes to hosting and building community with young people. It requires trust, hope, vulnerability, commitment, communication, healthy boundaries, and flexibility.


“He (the youth) helped me learn first-hand about being a black and trans person in a white society. His being around us probably brought out the best in my husband and I because we wanted to be role models. He became family to my husband and I. He became a friend as well.”
A host home talking about their experience hosting a youth in the GLBT Host Home Program

Is Host Home The Right Fit For You?

Hosting a youth is a messy and magical experience. It can be a transformational experience for youth and hosts, and requires a deep commitment to relationship and trust building. Becoming a host is a leap of faith, and we recognize that it's not for everyone. We find that volunteers who align with our host home values are a good fit for host home:

  • We seek to recognize and challenge systems of power that perpetuate barriers and injustice in young people’s lives (such as racism and classism), and we are aware that not all youth get the same results through the same hard work under these systems.
  • We believe in supporting youth regardless of their racial, ethnic or cultural identity, religious affiliations, or lack thereof, gender identity or sexual orientation
  • We understand that all youth will sometimes make choices we don’t agree with, and we acknowledge the youth’s right to make those choices for themselves
  • We believe that youth benefit from living with adult allies who are aware of the inherent power dynamics of the host home model and strive to minimize misuse of power

Check out our full list of host home values here.

Requirements

To be a host in our programs, you must:

  • Have an extra bedroom or space for the youth
  • Be at least 25 years old
  • Be LGBTQ or an ally (our programs supports LGBTQ youth)
  • Live within one hour driving distance from downtown Minneapolis, and have lived near the Twin Cities for a least one year
  • Have renter/homeowner's insurance
  • Have a commitment to social justice; be committed to continually working on how power and privilege shows up in your own life

Next Steps

If you're interested in becoming a host in our programs, we recommend following the steps listed below.


Long Or Short Term Hosting: What's the right fit for you? 

Avenues is currently recruiting hosts for its GLBT and ConneQT Host Home Programs. Learn more about these programs by downloading our brochure here.

Attend An Upcoming Information Session 

Check out our upcoming host home information sessions on our calendar.

Have Questions? Connect with a staff member. 

  • Ashley Morgan, GLBT Host Home Program Manager: amorgan@avenuesforyouth.org | 612-968-1672
  • Ryan Berg, ConneQT Host Home Program Manager: rberg@avenuesforyouth.org | 612-345-8445