Learn about youth homelessness from Justice, an 18-year-old living at Avenues. Justice’s interview highlights the impact of Minnesota’s housing and rental market. Currently, the Twin Cities have the worst housing shortage in the nation. On top of that, the average cost for an apartment in Minneapolis is over $1,500 a month. For a young person who hasn’t had time to build their income and doesn’t have family wealth to rely on, renting an apartment can be out of reach.
Learn more about Justice and youth homelessness below.
What can society do better for youth?
Lower the cost to rent apartments.
What do you think causes youth homelessness?
A variety of things, like toxic homes, foster care, and mental health.
What do you wish the general public knew about youth homelessness?
I wish they knew more about how hard it is to build your credit and rental history, and how hard it is to motivate yourself in a situation like this. Give us more choices.
What would you tell someone thinking of coming to Avenues?
Avenues gives you your basic needs!
What is your dream?
To leave here (Avenues) as soon as possible!
When youth enter Avenues programs, staff work with them to identify their housing goals. For some youth that means building up relationships with family to move in with them, and for others that means finding an affordable apartment. Depending on their goals, staff will partner with youth to start building their credit, income, and savings, which can take a long time before a youth is ready.
Avenues is part of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless (MCH), a nonprofit that’s mission is to generate policies, community support and local resources for housing and services to end homelessness in Minnesota. Since its inception, MCH has preserved or helped fund 13,000 units of affordable housing, and cultivated over $390 million in legislative wins for housing stability across the state. Together with our partners, we must continue to do more for young people like Justice.