Client Spotlight: Ain Dah Yung Center
Imagine a place where no one is homeless.
For 33 years, Ain Dah Yung Center has provided culturally-responsive services to help American Indian youth imagine a hopeful, safe, and independent future.
“When our youth can experience their Native traditions, their identities become clearer and they begin to heal.”
Deb Foster, Ain Dah Yung Center Executive Director
Ain Dah Yung Center provides a place for American Indian youth and families to thrive in safety and wholeness by providing the following:
Emergency Shelter – The only 24-hour shelter for youth in the East Metro, and the only American Indian youth shelter in the Twin Cities.
Youth Lodge – A transitional living program for youth 16-21
Ninijanisag (Ojibwe for “Our Children”): Youth learn leadership, healthy living skills, and Native traditions.
Street Outreach: Caseworkers help connect homeless and runaway youth with food, transportation, and referrals.
Children’s Mental Health Case Management: Provides support and resources for families with children who have mental health needs.
Oyate Nawajin (Lakota for “Stand with the People”): Family support groups with an emphasis on cultural teachings, resource acquisition and general support.
Indian Child Welfare Legal Advocacy: Created to enforce local compliance with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). In 2016, 131 hearings and 240 children were monitored in Ramsey County.
Having completed a feasibility study, ADYC has begun a comprehensive Capital Campaign to provide support and resources to all their programming. Campaign goals include:
- Build a culturally responsive home for youth (18-24) along the University Avenue corridor;
- Scale existing programs to accommodate a new 42-unit permanent supportive housing facility;
- Hire new staff to deliver wrap-around services
“The reason we have so many Native homeless youth is, in part, because of the years of historical trauma that lasted until 1980. The only way for healing and growth to happen for our youth is to reestablish their sense of Native Identity.” – Deb Foster
American Indian Youth are disproportionately affected by homelessness and educational disparities. This new facility will allow American Indian youth to complete their education, secure sustainable employment, connect to community resources, and connect with their culture.
Come to Ain Dah Yung Center’s Open House Luncheon on May 31st and learn more about them, and ways to get involved with this exciting project.
“I entered the foster care system around the age of 6, and remember at least 9 foster care placements since 2000. In February 2015, I aged out of foster care with no place to go. Then I found the Ain Dah Yung Center. I was thrilled to learn beading, how to make a jingle dress and staff took me to ceremonies and we danced at pow wow’s. The staff also taught me how to manage my diabetes, about nutrition & healthy diets. They helped me enroll in health insurance that covers my insulin. I also got a full-time job, learned how to manage money, and now live independently with my baby girl. I am so grateful to the Ain Dah Yung Center’s Youth Lodge and all they did to help me start a new life! “– Rosie, Program Participant
Interested in learning more about Fox Advancement’s campaign services?
Contact James Hamilton at email@example.com