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ECMC Foundation's Fundraiser:

Avenues for Homeless Youth

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Avenues for Homeless Youth is a youth shelter serving homeless teens in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park. They provide emergency shelter, short-term housing and supporting services for homeless youth in a safe and nurturing environment. Last year, the GO! Program provided a one-year grant to Avenues to hire an Education Support Specialist (ESS) “to help homeless youth identify personal educational goals and needs, and provide personal support and guidance to meet these goals.” Hired in August 2015, the ESS made an immediate impact. In the first four months, he worked with a full 50% of the homeless youth who stayed at Avenues, helping them select and enroll in a high school, providing attendance counseling and support, attending IEP meetings with the youths, accompanying them on tours of local colleges, and helping them complete college applications and FAFSA forms. In addition, the ESS built strong partnerships with the Homeless Youth Liaisons for Minneapolis and Osseo (Brooklyn Park) Public Schools. This partnership ensured that students were enrolled quickly into the most appropriate setting for their success. As a result, the liaisons report that the homeless youth working with the ESS are attending school on a regular basis, a HUGE first step to success. The ESS also consulted with the district to ensure schools complied with laws designed to remove barriers for homeless students. Homeless teens are among our most vulnerable. They look like adults, but lack the privileges and resources of adults. Giving them an education gives them a chance to be successful as adults.


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