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Avivo Village

UPDATE: Avivo Village is on rapid course for completion!

 

Avivo Village, an indoor community of 100 secure, private dwellings or “tiny houses” created to provide shelter to individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness, is currently being built at a location in Minneapolis’s North Loop Neighborhood. Even though Avivo Village is still under construction, we eagerly welcomed the first 16 residents on December 30, 2020. Plans are to open fully in March 2021.

 

What is Avivo Village?

Avivo Village is an interior, tiny home community 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 model. It’s open to adults who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Minneapolis and Hennepin County. One hundred adults will live at Avivo Village at any given time. It offers dignity and 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 also houses service providers, case managers, and security services. The approach is culturally-responsive, low-barrier, 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 get into Avivo Village?

Avivo Village receives individuals through a closed referral process. We are working with community street outreach teams and the Adult Shelter Connect on these referrals to prioritize unsheltered individuals who have been long-time street outreach clients. At this time, referrals are not open to new outreach clients and the Adult Shelter Connect is not able to refer individuals directly to Avivo Village.

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 during the pandemic to have individuals sheltered in conditions where they sleep on cots next to each other. 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,” 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 will be surrounded by trained staff who’ll walk alongside each one, 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.”

We are proud to receive generous funding support from Target, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Lynne and Andrew Redleaf Foundation, and the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation. Generous funding has also been provided from state, county, and city sources as well as support from individuals, and includes community development funding the City of Minneapolis approved from the CARES Act. Support also comes from fees for services. Avivo will continue to raise funds for ongoing operations.

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