Avenues host home programs are a creative, community-based response to youth homelessness. The goal of these programs is to provide safer, culturally responsive housing within a youth's own community. We do this by recruiting and training community members to be host homes. Youth live with the host home from one week to one year, or more, depending on the program. While living with the host, Avenues works with the young person to work towards their goals and dreams. The hosts also receive continuous support from Avenues. With these programs there's an intentional matching process to ensure that both hosts and youth feel supported and affirmed.
The nationally recognized model is youth-driven, meaning youth are never "placed" in a host home. Youth review host home applications, and after meeting with the hosts of their choice, may decide to move in with them.
Become A Host Home
Hosting a youth is a messy a magical experience that is often life-changing to youth and hosts. Learn more about becoming a host home in our programs.
Resources & Support
Are you referring a youth or are a youth wanting to enter the program? Check out our resources. For immediate shelter, go to YSNMN.ORG for shelter bed availability.
Create A Program
Is your community interested in creating a host home program? Avenues consults with communities across the country. Check out our toolkit for resources.
Resources For Hosts
If you are currently a host in our programs, check out these resources or contact our host home program managers for support.
Throughout the 1990s, the LGBTQ community in Minneapolis recognized the need for identity and culturally specific housing for youth experiencing homelessness. Then, like today, a disproportionate number of LGBTQ, especially youth of color, were experiencing homelessness. In response, the community created the Twin Cities' first host home program at YouthLink, called the GLBT Host Home Program. Avenues adopted the program in 2007. Currently, Avenues operates three host home programs:
- GLBT Host Home Program: Supports LGBTQ youth ages 18-24 for one year or more
- ConneQT Host Home Program: Supports LGBTQ youth ages 18-24 for up three months (emergency stays)
Recruitment Advisory Council
Avenues' Host Home Programs have a recruitment advisory council - folks connected to community and who can guide, help and advise us on securing more hosts, especially hosts of color. In our host home programs, hosts share their homes with young people experiencing homelessness, both short-term and long-term. Most of the youth with whom we work are queer, trans and BIPOC, ages 16-24.
Give Us Your Feedback!
Were you or are you a youth or host in our host home programs? Please let us know about your experiences by filling out an online, confidential (and QUICK) evaluation!