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Avivo participants and staff speak out at the Capitol

“A second chance will give me a better opportunity for jobs, for homes, and to be a better person in the community,” shares Lakaiki, a participant in Avivo’s residential treatment program.

Avivo staff and program participants meet with Representative Ilhan Omar during Second Chance Day on the Hill.
Avivo staff and program participants meet with Representative Ilhan Omar during Second Chance Day on the Hill.

Lakaiki shared her story with legislators during Second Chance Day on the Hill at the Minnesota State Capitol. It was one of three major advocacy days attended by Avivo program participants and staff this month. The other two are Homeless Day and Mental Health Day.

“A second chance will give me a better opportunity for jobs, for homes, and to be a better person in the community.”

“March is an important month for rallies at the capitol,” says Courtney Gunderson, manager for Avivo’s housing programs. “Legislative committees meet, hearings take place, and bills are finalized.”

At Second Chance Day on the Hill, Avivo staff and program participants promoted three priorities: 1) restoring the vote to felons who have completed their sentences, 2) reducing the impact of fines and fees, and 3) reducing the length of probation periods.

Avivo staff and program participants meet with Represenative Dave Baker during Homeless Day on the Hill.
Avivo staff and program participants meet with Represenative Dave Baker during Homeless Day on the Hill.

60 Avivo staff and program participants attended a rally for Homeless Day on the Hill and met with their legislators. They shared their stories and promoted support for proposed legislation to increase safe, affordable housing for vulnerable Minnesotans.

“March is an important month for rallies at the capitol.”

Avivo staff and program participants were also engaged with advocacy during Mental Health Day on the Hill. They met with legislators and promoted policies that improve the lives of people living with a mental illness.

Being engaged at the Capitol helps raise the voices of people we serve regarding the critical issues of homelessness, joblessness, and recovery. Together, we can help improve the lives of Avivo participants and families.