The metro area’s first suburban shelter for homeless youth will open early next month in Brooklyn Park, and officials plan grand opening festivities this Friday and Saturday.
Brooklyn Avenues, a 12-bed shelter and transitional housing program for youth ages 16 to 20, was built by the City of Brooklyn Park and will be operated by Avenues for Homeless Youth, a nonprofit that runs a similar shelter in North Minneapolis.
We wrote last year about the quick work of Brooklyn Park officials in recognizing the need for such services for youth, and the way area governments, churches and civic organizations chipped in to help make it happen.
At the groundbreaking in August, officials said the Brooklyn Park Economic Development Authority allocated $950,000 for the 5,000-square-foot facility, and that organizers were raising money for a $600,000 operating budget.
Officials plan a Friday grand opening ceremony at the facility, 7210 76th Avenue North, Brooklyn Park. Speakers at the noon to 2 p.m. event will be:
- Deborah Loon, executive director, Avenues for Homeless Youth
- Jeffrey Lunde, mayor of Brooklyn Park
- The Rev. Steve Larson, Redeemer Covenant Church & Brooklyn Area Ministerial Association
- Mikkel Beckmen, director, Minneapolis-Hennepin County Office to End Homelessness
- Markus Klimenko, program manager, Hennepin County Housing and Homeless Initiatives
- Francie Mathis, homeless programs supervisor, DHS-Office of Economic Opportunity
- Rev. Lisa Jacobsen, chair, Brooklyn Avenues Action Council
On Saturday, there will be a community open house from 1 to 4 p.m.