The past fiscal year was one of celebration, learning, and growth at Avenues for Youth. On our 25th anniversary in December 2019, we announced our name change to Avenues for Youth, dropping the word “homeless.” The youth we are privileged to support have never labeled themselves as homeless. They have told us that homelessness is just part of their journey, but it doesn't define them. In response to that, we legally changed our name to Avenues for Youth.

Our anniversary was a bittersweet celebration, as we would prefer that our work serving youth experiencing homelessness was not necessary. But as long as there are over 6,000 young people experiencing homelessness every night in Minnesota, Avenues will be here.

I am proud to share with you our fiscal year accomplishments:

  • Avenues adopted a new mission statement and strategic plan. Our mission is to partner with youth experiencing homelessness to achieve their dreams.
  • We engaged in deep learning and discussion with the community to design our newest program, Abule, a collective housing model for youth who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
  • In the first full year of our Young Families Program, we learned how hard the housing crisis is hitting youth-headed households. Affordable apartments, especially those that can accommodate families, are scarce, and landlords are often reluctant to rent to youth.
  • Art therapy strengthened and enhanced our mental health services as we continue to seek ways to fully and holistically support youth on their journeys.

None of this would have been possible without your support. We gratefully acknowledge our contributors, including the inaugural members of our Dream Maker Society, for your dedication and commitment. Together we will continue to learn and grow as we collaborate to further the dreams and goals of youth experiencing homelessness.


Katherine Meerse, Executive Director

In fiscal year 2019, Avenues:


supported over 300 youth with housing, emergency shelter and support.


supported 78% of clients move in stable housing after leaving Avenues programs.


celebrated 12 high school graduations in the spring.


gained 24 inaugural community members in our Dream Maker Society, which launched in spring 2019.

Minneapolis Avenues


Youth Housed Up to 18 Months


Youth In Shelter Up to 30 Days


Youth Used the Emergency Bed at Least Once

*Emergency bed was closed for six months due to flooding and construction.

While in transitional living, youth have access to onsite mental health services, a nurse and intensive case management while they make progress on their goals.
Half of the youth who moved out of Minneapolis Avenues continued to work with staff, and 76% moved in to stable housing.

Young Families, Our Future


Youth-led families housed in apartments


Children housed with their family

Year of Learning

FY19 was the first full year of operations for our young families program. The program houses youth-led families in apartments, while youth receive intensive support from Avenues. We learned a lot from the program, especially about the unique barriers youth-led families face.

Reyvon's Home In Avenues Young Families Program

Reyvon, a young mom, and her two children were living in a shelter before meeting Elaine, Avenues Young Families Program Manager. Reyvon remained patient and humble as she and Elaine started looking for an apartment. The apartment had to be big enough for both of her kids, affordable, and the landlord had to be willing to work with a tenant with no rental history.

They found a two bedroom apartment in North Minneapolis that was the right fit for Reyvon and her family. Elaine walked Reyvon through the rental process and introduced her to her new landlord. Funded by HUD, the deposit and part of the rent was paid for through the program. This enabled Reyvon to get back on her feet and focus on her education and family.

Once housed, Reyvon hit the floor running. She and Elaine created a Housing Stability Plan to create a pathway out of homelessness. She enrolled in Minneapolis Technical Community College and began studying for Servsafe, an accredited food and beverage safety training program. She also got a job with at Minneapolis Public School that paid $14.50 an hour with benefits.

Reyvon’s two and five year olds are thriving. Her oldest is enrolled in kindergarten and doing well in school. The kids go to daycare while Reyvon is at work or at school. Reyvon also passed her Servsafe test, and is excited to find a job in the food industry.

The family’s dream is to own their own home. Reyvon is currently working on her credit score and increasing her income. She plans on applying for Habitat for Humanity’s First Time Home Buyers Program.

Brooklyn Avenues


Youth Housed Up to 18 Months


Youth In Shelter Up to 30 Days


Youth Used the Emergency Bed at Least Once
More than 80% of youth at Brooklyn Avenues moved in to stable housing. We're learning more and more that having individual bedrooms, like Brooklyn Avenues, contributes to better outcomes. Youth are better able to cope with trauma and feel safe when they have their own rooms. Of the youth who moved out, 59% continued to work with staff.

ConneQT & GLBT Host Home

*ConneQT and GLBT Host Home Programs were combined in 2019 and renamed ConneQT.


Youth Housed in ConneQT,  Short Term Stays Up to 30 Days


Of Youth Moved Into Stable Housing After Exiting ConneQT


Youth Housed in the GLBT Host Home Program, Long Term Stays Up to a Year


Of Youth Moved Into Stable Housing After Exiting the GLBT Host Home Program



Volunteers, Including 28 Groups


Hours Volunteered

Interested in volunteering?
Click here to visit our Volunteer page.

Financial Information

Revenue Chart
  • 55% Donations: $2,104,926
  • 34% Government Grants: $1,297,886
  • 6.5% Program Services: $247,122
  • 2% Special Event Revenue: $78,126
  • 2% In-Kind Contributions: $76,024
  • .03% Other Income: $8,992
Expenses Chart
  • 77.5% Program Expenses: $2,141,416
  • 12.2% Management & General: $336,448
  • 10.3% Fundraising: $284,836

Revenue reflects several grants received that are restricted through fiscal year 2021.