Brooklyn Park youth homeless shelter to expand services
A Brooklyn Park youth homeless shelter observed its second anniversary Tuesday. Brooklyn Avenues - Avenues for Homeless Youth, located on 76th Avenue, is expanding its programs to help homeless youth get back on their feet.

"Some people call places like this a homeless shelter, I call it a place of transition," said Brooklyn Avenues program manager Donnell Bratton.

Nearly 200 people have come through the door since Brooklyn Avenues first opened up. The average stay is about four months. However, the ultimate goal is for folks to find permanent housing.

Brooklyn Avenues also has several new programs. A job/educational specialist is on site to assist youth with finding a job and connecting them with high schools and colleges.

The Brooklyn Park facility also added more hours to the mental health counselor position so clients can deal with the traumatic experience of being homeless.

"I want them to come back and talk about their story of success of how they first got here and then the skills they've learned and how they were successful in their living and that they're continuing this journey," said Bratton.

Brooklyn Avenues serves young adults ages 16 to 21. About 54 percent of the shelter's funding comes from private donations. There's a fundraising event Saturday, Feb. 4.

Brooklyn Avenues website

Sonya Goins, reporting



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