Going beyond 60 years
Since 1960, Avivo has helped individuals transform their lives, particularly people who face significant and multiple challenges to health, stability and economic advancement. This includes poverty, racism, mental health and substance use concerns, homelessness, little or no education, outdated work skills, limited English language skills, and more.
From its start as a vocational rehabilitation services provider in Minneapolis, founded as the Minneapolis Rehabilitation Center, Avivo now offers shelter and housing supports, chemical and mental health services, career education, and employment services for residents in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud metro areas.
- Opening in 1960 as the Minneapolis Rehabilitation Center, a leading regional vocational rehabilitation center, the organization served 200 individuals with physical disabilities to train them for employment.
- Ran the first comprehensive vocational evaluation workshop in Minnesota — one of the first in the nation.
- Developed a center for continuing education, training vocational rehabilitation professionals throughout Midwest.
- Expanded to recovery and mental health services, and employment services, named organization Multi Resource Centers (1973), maintaining Minneapolis Rehabilitation Center (MRC) as its vocational services division.
- Opened aftercare services for individuals coming out of treatment as Recovery Resource Center (RRC), division of Multi Resource Centers.
- Offered day treatment and community integration for people living with severe mental illness as Spectrum Community Mental Health, division of Multi Resource Centers.
- Assisted unemployed workers find livable wage jobs, as Employment Action Center (EAC), division of Multi Resource Centers.
- Partnering with employers for workforce development.
- Implemented an industry-based training model to work with employers and discover skills needed in the workforce to train people accordingly.
- Developed groundbreaking partnership with IBM, training people with disabilities in high-tech computer jobs.
- Changed organization name to RESOURCE (1992)
- Became a State licensed career school, with campuses in St. Cloud and Minneapolis, as Minnesota Resource Center (MRC), division of RESOURCE (dropped Minneapolis Rehabilitation Center division name).
- Noted as the largest specialized training school in North America for people with disabilities.
- Established organization-wide diversity initiatives to increase staff diversity to reflect the growing diversity of people we serve and implemented commitment to undoing racism strategies.
- Integrated chemical and mental health services as RESOURCE Chemical and Mental Health (dropping RRC and Spectrum Community Mental Health names).
- Dropped all unique division names and acronyms to focus on bringing services under RESOURCE brand.
- Changed the organization name from RESOURCE to Avivo.
- Full integration and pairing of our services – chemical and mental health, housing supports, career education, and employment services – create the strongest paths for life transformation for the individuals and families Avivo serves.
- The start of the COVID-19 pandemic and murder of George Floyd accelerated Avivo’s homelessness response efforts.
- Formed Ending Homelessness Division with advent of street outreach teams and the launch of Avivo Village by the end of December.