Policy and advocacy
You can help ensure that youth experiencing homelessness have every resource and opportunity to secure stable housing and achieve their dreams. Minnesota has a historic budgetary surplus, which presents an opportunity to invest in programs and community initiatives to help end youth homelessness one young person at a time. Contact your Representative and Senator (find them here) and ask them to support these important public policies. You can also thank your Representative if they are already in support of the legislation.
The Avenues for Youth Act (HF 1925 / SF 1999)
HF 1925 (Lee) and SF 1999 (Champion) both support a direct appropriation of funds for Avenues for Youth in the amount of $6,000,000 to support the acquisition, design, construction, furnishings, and equipment for a new facility in North Minneapolis to support youth experiencing homelessness.
This funding is a critical need for Avenues for Youth to expand its emergency shelter and transitional living program in North Minneapolis. This money is distinctly for a capital project and is different from the other critical funds being requested for general operations.
An Act for Capital Improvement Appropriations (HF 670 / SF 677)
HF 670 (Lee) and SF 677 (Pappas) are both bills that provide for authorized spending to acquire and better land and other buildings for other improvements. This is what is called a “bonding bill” and provides for infrastructure projects across the state. As of March 6, 2023, the Minnesota State House of Representatives passed HF 670 on a vote of 98 to 36. All efforts are now directed towards the Senate.
Within each of these companion bills are direct grant requests for Avenues for Youth for $2,073,000 to acquire, design, and build an expanded facility in North Minneapolis for emergency shelter, transitional living programs, affordable housing for youth, and new administrative headquarters for the organization.
Pathway Home Act (SF 388/HF 444)
Join Avenues for Youth as we advocate for a significant increase to resources for youth experiencing homelessness in SF 388 (Senator Scott Dibble)/HF 444 (Representative Heather Keeler), the Pathway Home Act. As of March 2, 2023, the Minnesota State House of Representatives passed HF 444 on a vote of 73 to 57. All efforts are now directed at the Senate to pass this companion bill SF 33.
The “Pathway Home Act” will modify the Homeless Youth Act and provide greater funding for organizations like Avenues that directly partner with youth. Importantly, this bill requests an additional $12.5 million per year in funding (in 2024 and 2025) for youth (ages 10-24) that are experiencing homelessness. Current funding for the HYA (Homeless Youth Act grants) is only $11 million per year, far short of what is necessary to end youth homelessness. This increase in funding will expand the social safety net for this vulnerable population. The Homeless Youth Act will:
- Reduce the risk of exploitation,
- Prevent involvement in the criminal justice system,
- Prevent adult homelessness, and
- Improve educational andemployment success.
Additionally, HF 444/SF 388 will provide funding as follows:
- $150 million one-time funding for Shelter Capital,
- $40 million in 2024-2025, and $70 million in 2026-2027 for Emergency Services Program grants,
- $25 million in 2024-2025 and $40 million in 2026-2027 for Homeless Youth Act grants,
- $9 million for Transitional Housing Programs,
- $2 million for Homeless Youth Chosen Family grants, and
- $1.25 million for Homeless Management Information System
Youth Services Network (YSN)
Avenues for Youth is a proud member of the Youth Service Network (YSN), a statewide coalition of non-profits, providing supportive services, emergency shelter and housing youth and young families who are experiencing homelessness and/or sexual exploitation.