Avenues is selected for the 2023 Damus Award

We are so honored to share that Avenues for Youth has been selected for the 2023 Damus Award! Executive director, Katherine Meerse, accepted the award at a dinner in McNeely Hall on Thursday, April 20, 2023 along with board member Jenna Shermoen, program manager Ryan Berg, and director of development Melissa Cuff. This recognition is from the Damus Board, a group of undergraduate students at the University of St. Thomas’ Opus School of Business. Through a philanthropic process, the students learned about over 40 nonprofit organizations supporting housing and homelessness that do work to advance racial equity. They then selected three award winners, with Avenues being one of them.  

The Damus Award includes a $10,000 gift to Avenues. We are thankful to the Damus Board for this gift and are already putting it to use to keep our doors open 24/7 for the 250 youth experiencing homelessness that we will support this year.  

We were so impressed by the Damus Board students who spoke at the dinner. Kiana Phillips, one of the students, shared, “What impressed me about Avenues is that they do more than just provide housing, they provide homes for youth ages 16 to 24 years old.” That’s what we want our community to know – that Avenues supports young people by welcoming them into safe and supportive homes.    

Congratulations to our fellow Damus Award winners – Solid Ground and Hope Community! We are so inspired by the amazing work you do supporting people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.