Avenues for Homeless Youth | Minnesota Wild Charity of January

Innovative Office Solutions and the Minnesota Wild welcome you to 2017! It’s shaping up to be quite an exciting year for the Wild, who ran off an incredible 12-game winning streak in December to set a franchise record and put them near the top of the Western Conference standings. Goalie Devin Dubnyk leads the NHL in both goals against average (1.75) and save percentage (.941) and is arguably the league MVP nearing the halfway point of the season.

Innovative Office Solutions is the proud sponsor of the Charity of the Month program in partnership with the Minnesota Wild. The program brings exposure to a different Minnesota charity each month throughout the NHL season. The Minnesota Wild charity of the month for January, 2017 is Avenues for Homeless Youth.

Avenues for Homeless Youth Minnesota

On any given night in Minnesota, 6,000 youth are homeless and on their own. In 1994, 19-year old Michelle Basham conceived of a shelter for youth who faced the grim reality of having no place to call “home.” It was a dream born out of the frustration she felt at the lack of youth shelter in the City of Minneapolis as she witnessed peers couch-hopping and struggling to find food and clean clothes.

Basham’s original idea has now become the charity Avenues for Homeless Youth, which provides emergency shelter, short-term housing and supportive services for homeless youth in a safe and nurturing environment. Through such service, Avenues seeks to help youth achieve their personal goals and make a positive transition into young adulthood.

An Introduction to Avenues from Avenues for Homeless Youth on Vimeo.

According to Wilder Research, youth ages 24 and younger are the most likely age group to be homeless. Homeless youth are disproportionately youth of color and victims of violence, sexual, physical or emotional abuse. They are young people who are on their own at too young an age.

Homeless youth struggle with numerous issues because of their age and lack of safe housing:

  • They are too young to obtain rental housing on their own; they simply do not have adequate income or savings to pay a damage deposit.
  • Without job experience or personal identification with a current address, they struggle to gain or improve upon their employment.
  • They have had little or no access to health care, mental health, legal support or social services.
  • Very often, their education is interrupted or curtailed.

The choices many homeless youth must make in order to survive are often not good for them. Age-appropriate shelter and supportive services are critical to protecting the vulnerability of homeless youth. For these youth, a stable residence with adult supervision is the beginning of addressing larger life-shaping issues.

Avenues for homeless youth

January, 2017 is shaping up to be a particularly cold month and it’s certainly a time when Avenues for Homeless Youth could use as much help as possible. Innovative Office Solutions is proud to sponsor Avenues for Homeless Youth in partnership with the Minnesota Wild as the January charity of the month! To learn more about how your organization could benefit, check out our Community Programs page.