Minneapolis Avenues Age Change

Friends of Avenues,

The needs of the young people we partner with are always evolving. As we evaluate our organization’s effectiveness, responding to the needs of our community is an important part of how we fulfill our mission. Until now, both Minneapolis Avenues and Brooklyn Avenues have supported youth ages 16 to 21 years old. Beginning in the fall of 2022, we are changing the age range at the Minneapolis Avenues location from 16 to 21, to 18 to 24. In making this decision, we looked closely at the data and talked with our partner organizations.

Factors that directed us to this path include:

  • On any given night in Hennepin County, there are at least 80 people between the ages of 18 to 24 who are staying at a shelter designed for adults.
  • Adult shelters are an important part of our overall homeless response system, but they are not the best option for youth under the age of 24.
  • Most adult shelters are overnight shelters only, leaving youth on the streets during the day.
  • Adult shelters are not always prepared to meet the developmental needs of youth.
  • Adult shelters can be dangerous for youth.
  • On many nights, shelter beds in Hennepin County that are specifically for minors are underutilized.
  • Partner organizations have recently added beds specifically for minors, relieving pressure on the system. 

Our Brooklyn Park location will continue to support youth ages 16 to 21. Our shelter and transitional living programs in North Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park provide youth with a welcoming home, holistic support, and a safe environment. 

“We’re excited for the opportunity to help guide youth into their young adult stages of life and address the need for shelter for young adults.” -Bryce Jones, Minneapolis Avenues Site Manager.

Whether it’s for a night or a year, we help youth make a positive transition into young adulthood, assist them with finding their path out of homelessness, and partnering with young people on their education, career, health and wellness, and housing goals.

If you have questions, please reach out — we would love to hear from you. Send your questions to executive director Katherine Meerse at: kmeerse@avenuesforyouth.org.