Avivo Village

Avivo Village is a first-ever, indoor community of 100 secure, private dwellings or “tiny houses” that provides shelter and wraparound services to individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness. Avivo Village is located in Minneapolis. Individuals stay 30 days at a time with the goal of moving on to permanent housing in the community or taking the next best steps that are right for them.

Impact since opening in December 2020

As of August 2022, Avivo Village’s success is measured by:

  • 323 total individuals served (230 exited, 93 current)
  • 95 individuals moved on to safe, permanent housing
  • 65 overdoses have been reversed, saving all lives
  • 12 babies were born to Avivo Village residents
  • 62 individuals connected to healthcare services
  • 12 pets (seven dogs, five cats) have lived with residents

Avivo Village is designed to be a dignified, safe, and COVID-aware alternative to outdoor encampments. It is a low-barrier shelter that operates as a transitional housing and harm reduction model. It serves adults experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Minneapolis and Hennepin County. It offers dignity and access to essential services, like substance use disorder treatment, mental health therapy, medical care, and pathways to overall well-being. Residents begin to discover next steps for permanent supportive housing, obtain employment, and receive healthy living supports.

Avivo Village houses service providers, case managers, and security services. Our Housing First approach is culturally-responsive and trauma-informed. Avivo staff and security are on site, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We coordinate whatever wrap-around services are needed for residents to be successful in living at Avivo Village and be successful in moving out into permanent housing.

How do people become Avivo Village residents?

Avivo does not receive direct referrals. Individuals enter Avivo Village through a closed referral process designed specifically for people living unsheltered and not using traditional shelters. We are working with community street outreach teams on referring individuals who have been long-time street outreach clients. Adult Shelter Connect manages a separate referral pool for Avivo Village as it works with street outreach teams.

To learn more, check our Frequently Asked Questions.

Why invest in an indoor living community to address unsheltered homelessness?

The homelessness crisis in the Twin Cities has become more visible with the alarming spread of COVID-19 and civil unrest ignited by the murder of George Floyd. It is not safe at any time to be living outside in conditions not meant for human habitation. We must care for the needs of people living outside with Minnesota’s severe and wintry weather conditions.

This two-year pilot project is the result of the extensive work by Minneapolis-based advocates, elected officials, nonprofit community and philanthropic leaders. It is inspired by the Indoor Villages community building concept – secure, private dwellings or “tiny shelters” in an indoor space.

“Avivo Village is a tremendous example of what can happen when the community rallies together to address the issue of unsheltered homelessness.”

“Avivo Village is a tremendous example of what can happen when the community rallies together to address the issue of unsheltered homelessness,” shared Avivo President & CEO Kelly Matter. “It offers stability and security, first. A safe place out of the elements to take personal steps to permanent housing. The tiny structure model is COVID-19 aware, helping alleviate fears many individuals have in seeking shelter. The indoor community is surrounded by trained staff who walk alongside each person, connecting them to just the right services that help them find permanent, safe places to live. It’s one of the things Avivo does best.”

Generous funding has been provided from state, county, and city sources, and includes community development funding the City of Minneapolis approved from the CARES Act. We are proud to receive generous funding support from Target, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Lynne and Andrew Redleaf Foundation, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation, and other philanthropic support. Funding also comes from Housing Supports and other fees for services. Avivo continues to raise funds for ongoing operations. We invite you to make a gift to help Avivo in its work to end homelessness. You may give online or reach out to Bruce at bruce.wenger@avivomn.org.

If you have additional questions, please reach out to Kim Sheagren at kim.sheagren@avivomn.org.

Avivo Village in the news

‘Tiny house’ indoor village for the homeless opens March 8 in Minneapolis — Minneapolis Star Tribune

Twin Cities nonprofit opens new kind of tiny home village — and it’s all indoors — KSTP 5

Indoor tiny house village for homeless people set to open next month in Minneapolis — Minnesota Reformer