Emergency Shelter
Our Emergency Shelter provides culturally specific emergency shelter to American Indian youth who are homeless, runaway, in a family crisis, or involved with juvenile corrections. Services include emergency and short-term shelter, crisis intervention, case and systems advocacy, information and referrals, access to medical/ dental care, counseling, case management and community education.

The Ain Dah Yung Center is the only 24-hour emergency shelter facility for any youth in Ramsey County and the East Metro, and is the only American Indian youth emergency shelter available to American Indian youth in the Twin Cities metro area. While there are other youth serving shelters, we are unique in our ability to serve children as young as age five. This enables us to keep sibling groups together, of critical importance to our Native families and a benefit to all families in general. Read more

The Ninijanisag (Our Children) Program is a multifaceted program focusing heavily on engagement and prevention – working to ground youth in Native culture while designed to combat chemical and commercial tobacco abuse, teen dating violence, gang relations, sex trafficking and other self-compromising behaviors among at-risk youth between the ages of 8-17. Through opportunities for community involvement, leadership development, culturally specific health education, and cultural enrichment activities, Ninijanisag develops interpersonal competencies and strengthens the skills our young people need to become community leaders and mentors for other youth. Read more

Beverley A. Benjamin Youth Lodge
The Beverly A. Benjamin Youth Lodge is a culturally grounded transitional living program available to youth between the ages of 16-21 who have no parental substitute or foster home to which they can safely go. This intervention program emphasizes training, education and employment goals and is designed to develop a support system to meet holistic needs of body, mind, and spirit. Youth Lodge services emphasize the relationship between youth and positive role models (staff and elders) to teach new behaviors, learn appropriate ways to express feelings, and manage everyday living. Creating community and cultural connection helps tap the inner strengths of youth to better educate them for independent or inter-dependent living – helping to break the cycle of homelessness. 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. Read more

Street Outreach
The Street Outreach Program provides street-based support to runaway or homeless youth unable or not wanting to enter a shelter. Case workers provide information on safe housing, basic needs resources and health related issues. They also provide health and personal care supplies, food and access to transportation. Youth are provided with drop-in services where they can eat a hot meal, do laundry or shower. Read more

Oyate Nawajin
Oyate Nawajin (Stand with the People) programs are designed to keep American Indian families together and strong by providing the knowledge, skills and resources they need to provide a safe, stable environment for their children. Programs and services include:

  • Ramsey County Children’s Mental Health Case Management provides support, case management and assistance in coordinating resources for families with children who have mental health needs. Read more
  • Family Preservation and Reunification Services through our Family Advocacy Program uses traditional American Indian teachings and an asset-based approach that builds on the strengths of families and was established in response to the disproportionate placement of American Indian children outside the home. We provide family preservation and reunification services that combines self-help, professional intervention, and cultural reinforcement in order to strengthen families experiencing a process of family reunification and/or stressful parenting situations. Our family advocacy program supports families through group learning, increasing positive social networks, connecting families to cultural teachings and healing, case management, appropriate referrals, resource acquisition, and general family support. Read more
  • The Indian Child Welfare Legal Advocacy Project (ICWLAP) was created to enforce local compliance with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). ICWA was created to prevent the dissolution of American Indian families and to reduce the number of American Indian children in out-of-home placement. The Ain Dah Yung Center’s ICWLAC Project provides court monitoring on cases involving American Indian children, legal representation to American Indian families (through a collaboration with Southern Minnesota Region Legal Services), and education/outreach to identify systemic problems and strategize on solutions regarding ICWA compliance. Read more


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