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Saturday
May192018

Welcome to Downtown View

Article by Claudia Kittock

Mike (a pseudonym) is a young man I have known for 2 years, and he has had a difficult life. He has experienced homelessness for most of that time, and, as you might expect, life has been hard. Mike has almost 2 years of college finished, but the rigors of homelessness have interfered in almost every imaginable way. As a regular client at the drop-in at YouthLink, Mike learned about the possibility of housing at Downtown View and applied. He moved in about a month ago and life has changed for him in almost every way.

YouthLink Downtown View Grand Opening

Downtown View is officially open. A 10-year project that was fought for, planned for, and hoped for is finished. Located next door to YouthLink, it is operated by Project for Pride in Living (PPL), is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering low-income people to become self-reliant through integrated services. The mission is in part dedicated to “...providing transformative affordable housing and employment readiness services.” PPL began as an affordable housing developer and has since become a robust multi-service agency that today serves more than 13,000 low-income people annually. YouthLink clients are part of that mission through Downtown View.

YouthLink Downtown View Grand OpeningDr. Heather Huseby addressed the hundreds of attendees at the May 15 Downtown View grand opening celebration.

YouthLink Downtown View Grand OpeningPaul Williams discusses the Downtown View project and the work of Project for Pride in Living.

YouthLink operates a drop-in center for youth ages 16-24 who are experiencing homelessness. With over 40 years of experience connecting young people with a community of resources and support, YouthLink is uniquely poised to be a powerful resource. Whether it is providing basic needs, like a hot shower or a warm meal, assistance with employment or educational goals, accessing mental and physical health resources, or finding supportive housing, there are navigators that can and will help young people at all stages of their journey.

The power in the word ‘home’ is beyond description.

Downtown View fills a critical need of housing for youth experiencing homelessness. Housing is only the first step. Providing services to help create a holistic, positive, vibrant community that makes it possible for youth to engage with new opportunities, broaden their horizons, and build self-esteem is all part of Downtown View.  

Housing first matters! Once someone has the stability of a place to sleep, a physical transformation occurs. Remember Mike? He has not only found housing, he is working 35 hours a week, and exploring a return to college. I ran into him a few weeks ago. We chatted about his work, what he is going to have for dinner, what movies he had seen, all the things you talk about with a friend. I asked where he has headed and he said, “Home!” That moment will stay with me forever. The power in the word ‘home’ is beyond description.

If you agree that housing is a right, here are ways you can help:

• Call YouthLink at 612-252-1200
• Purchase pre-selected items for the young people thru YouthLink's Wish List on Amazon. Items will conveniently be shipped directly to YouthLink.
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Downtown View offers two housing options - single units and quad units. Both come with basic housekeeping items, such as sheets, cleaning products and cooking gear. Below is a single unit ready for move in.
YouthLink Downtown View Grand Opening
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YouthLink Downtown View Grand Opening
In quad units, there are four private bedrooms and a shared kitchen/living area:
YouthLink Downtown View Grand Opening
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YouthLink Downtown View Grand Opening

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About Claudia Kittock

Claudia is a resident of the Mill District. In addition to writing for Mill City Times, she is a founding Board Member of Friends of the Mill District. Claudia is the author of Health Through Chaos, mentors young adults at YouthLink, and has served on the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA).
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Contact: claudia@millcitymedia.org

 

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