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Greetings Community Partner!

With over 650 homeless children on our streets every night, just in the Twin Cities metro area, and with hundreds of families struggling to meet basic needs, we are so pleased that you have taken a moment to consider joining us. Together we will:

  • Ensure that any child between the ages of 5 and 17 who needs a warm bed, hot food, clean clothes and a sense of safeness, has it.
  • Put outreach workers on the streets who look for these homeless youth and give at least 1,175 youth a year a reassuring smile and talk with them about where they can get help while giving them critical life supplies.
  • Give parents who are working hard to provide the best for their children, the support and connections they need to build upon their strengths and be successful.
  • Provide housing for youth between the ages of 16 – 21 while ensuring they complete high school, get signed up for post-secondary education, obtain job skill training and build their self-sufficiency skills to leave homelessness behind them forever.
  • And finally, we will connect our children with their culture and fortify their sense of self and esteem.

Together we can get our children off the streets and end their path of homelessness. Thank you for caring and for your thoughtfulness.

With Gratitude,
Deb Foster
Executive Director

Henry Halvorson
Board President

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Below are just a few reasons why your partnership is so important.

Colton came to our Shelter in 2007 as a homeless youth, failing school and with a disheartening sense of hopelessness. The ADYC Shelter embraced Colton with safety and security, surrounding him with positive role models while he waited for a transitional housing option. ADYC also connected him with Ninijanisag, which engaged him in multiple Native traditional teachings as well as provided him with tools for living a healthy lifestyle.

Colton quickly became a Peer Educator, mentoring other youth and has also become a member of ADYC’s Youth Drumming and Singing Group, which travels throughout Minnesota performing at various Native events.

“Ninijanisag taught me to have pride in my Native culture and how our culture is about respect, honor and dignity. These teachings helped me to leave the life I was living and begin to reach for goals that will help me do the positive things that I want to do.”


Colton graduated from high school with honor roll grades and is looking forward to enrolling in community college. He has recently been gifted two grass dance outfits where you’ll find him dancing at many of our local Pow Wow’s. Colton became a leader and remains a positive role model for youth in the Ninijanisag program as well as other young men in our community.

Hi, my name is Blue (Walks Strong) Spearman Jones, aka “Shadow.” In 2007 I was a teen and homeless. I didn’t have a stable home life and ended up on the streets, and for a couple of years, went from one place to the next just trying to survive. People have no idea what it’s like for kids like me to try and stay alive on the streets and to be so alone and scared. Then some told me about the Beverly A. Benjamin Youth Lodge – the Ain Dah Yung Center’s transitional living program that helps kids like me learn things that will help us from being homeless. Because of my stay there I was able to keep my job that I had at the time, finish high school, and engage in my Native culture. I had so many positive life experiences that I would not have had otherwise.

During those two years I made many friends there that are so close to me, I call them family. I have since transitioned out and am living in south Minneapolis, going to MCTC, working at Augsburg College and taking an active role in my community. But none of this would have been possible without your support. Because of you supporting the Ain Dah Yung Center, you have helped me become successful and I would like to thank you!

Bear Tracks
Bear Tracks Calanche was referred to the Youth Lodge in March of 2009 after he had experienced a year of homelessness in the south metro area.

When Bear Tracks arrived at the Youth Lodge, he was spending nights sleeping in his car. The staff at the Youth Lodge immediately started assisting Bear in finding employment and exploring the various possibilities of post-secondary education. He started attending the male sweat lodge ceremonies through Ain Dah Yung’s Ninijanisag program, participated in Life Skills groups while working one-on-one with staff on setting goals.

With the money that Bear was able to save while at the Youth Lodge and the life skills he learned, he now resides in his own apartment in Northeast Minneapolis and has secured gainful employment.

“The Ain Dah Yung Youth Lodge helped me learn how to pay bills and save money” stated Bear. “I wouldn’t have come here if it weren’t a Native program. It’s certainly important because not everyone has a perfect life or someone to go to for guidance.”

Ninety percent of youth who come to the Youth Lodge finish high school, continue their education, become self-sufficient, and finally leave homelessness behind them.

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