Youth Homeless Shelter Opening in Brooklyn Park will Help Kids Thrive

Updated: 08/15/2014 6:44 AM
Created: 08/14/2014 5:00 PM
By: Kate Renner

Young adults across the state shouldn't have to worry about where they'll sleep at night.

On Thursday, crews broke ground on a brand new shelter and transitional housing program for homeless youth in Brooklyn Park called Brooklyn Avenues.

The empty piece of land will soon be the only place some youth will call home. A homeless youth shelter will be up and running by early next year.

The shelter is going up in response to the rise in youth homelessness and sex-trafficking in the northwest suburbs.

An individual bedroom will be offered to young men and women 16-20 years old.

It's estimated the average stay will be three to six months long, but could be as long as 1 1/2 years.

Counseling, job training, even life skills will be taught at the shelter, moving kids from just surviving on the streets to thriving.

"Down on their luck, some just haven't had financial backing to support a youth in their home. So now, we are going to be the bridge to bring them into a place to have hope again or live a normal teenage life," said Donnell Bratton, Brooklyn Avenues Program Supervisor.

"Sex trafficking really starts is someone offers a home on a cold night, we're trying to say, we've got options," Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeffery Lunde said.

The Brooklyn Park Economic Development Authority spent nearly $1 million to design and construct the 12-bed shelter. The city is leasing it for $1 to be run by the non-profit Avenues for Homeless Youth.

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