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Avivo program assists caregivers suddenly forced to provide for their families

“I woke up one morning and knew I had to get out. I packed the bags and loaded the car,” shares Caty, single mother of two young children.  

Caty is an example of an individual who has found success through Avivo’s Minnesota Family Resiliency Partnership. Participants in the program are caregivers, previously dependent on the financial support of others, who have lost that income due to divorce, death, disability, abandonment, or loss of public assistance. 

“I woke up one morning and knew I had to get out. I packed the bags and loaded the car.”

After a sudden separation and divorceCaty needed to provide for herself and her childrenHer ex-husband had stopped paying child support, and because of COVID-19 she was forced to stop workingThat’s when she found and entered Avivo’s Minnesota Family Resiliency Partnership. 

“Education, support groups… It’s such a great resource. I don’t know what I’d be doing without it, says Caty.  

Caty, mother of two, and participant in Avivo’s Minnesota Family Resiliency Program.

Caty’s story fits a common set of barriers participants in this program faceBetween 2018-201985% of program participants were not receiving court-ordered child support, 27% entered the program homeless, and 63% of were victims of domestic violence. Despite often needing to overcome many barriers, 97% of program participants completed the program successfully. 

“This is a one-of-a-kind program in the Twin Cities metro area,” shares Tara Munroe, career counselor at Avivo. “In Caty’s case, she wanted to grow a small business, and wlinked her to Twin Cities business networking opportunities, to doula trainings — we created a customized approach for her. 

“Education, support groups… It’s such a great resource. I don’t know what I’d be doing without it,”

These services are more necessary than ever. The global pandemic has impacted the number of jobs available and caused increased competition, and parents must also juggle caring for children and assist them with distance learning at home.  

“The longer caregivers remain out of the workforce, the harder it is to re-enter,” shares Avivo President & CEO Kelly Matter, “The ability to secure employment at the level of the primary income provider… that’s nearly impossible without support.” 

This program equips individuals, such as Caty and many program participants, with the employment readiness skills and other services needed to stabilize their families and their homes, while also preparing them for work. 

Caty is on her way to economic independence and self-sufficiency. “I feel like I have a purpose now and each day I work toward my goals.” 

Avivo is one of six regional network providers of the Minnesota Family Resiliency Partnership, administered through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Learn more about the program here.