MINNEAPOLIS — Remember Avivo? It's one of several agencies that last year found housing for more than 100 people who'd been living in tents along HWY 55 near Cedar Ave. in Minneapolis.
The non-profit organization wants to keep helping Minnesotans experiencing homelessness and/or addiction, but COVID-19 is creating new challenges.
According to Emily Bastian, Vice President of Chemical and Mental Health, the pandemic directly impacts around 100 people who currently live in Avivo housing and who come to Avivo for treatment services.
"The number of places that are serving meals have decreased," Bastian said. "The number of places that people can be during the day have decreased."
Avivo now asks its clients, who come to its south Minneapolis buildings, to practice social distancing - even in group treatment - and to stay home in between sessions.
But when home is a shelter, the risk of coronavirus is still there.
"Social distancing in a shelter is virtually impossible," Bastian said.
She says you can help by donating items identified on Avivo's online list of urgent needs.
"We have a list of things that may seem obscure but they're items that are really going to help us be able to continue to connect with the people that we're serving," Bastian Said.
- Shelf-stable food
- Sandwich supplies and snack supplies to create bag lunches for the kids in Avivo programs
- Grocery store gift cards or necessities gift cards
- Donations for the $300/day or $1,500/week costs of providing meals for the 25 children in Avivo's family residential treatment programs ($12/day per child). Donate here
- Toilet paper
- Sanitizing wipes
- Feminine hygiene products
- Diapers (all sizes)
- Coloring books/crayons for kids
- Arts and craft supplies for kids
- Cleaning supplies
Cellular Phone and Tablet needs
- Apple iPhones (iPhone 4 or newer, iOS 7.0 or newer)
- Android phones (running Android 2.3.x Gingerbread or newer)
- Apple iPads and iPad minis (running iOS 7.0 or newer)
- Android tablets (running Android 2.3.x or newer)
Bastian says Avivo employees are using video technology to reach people they would otherwise serve face-to-face. Bastian says a donated cell phone could save someone's life.
"We can connect with people through telemedicine in order to continue to provide support remotely to them."
Prior to donating, donors should wipe any personal information from the phone and run a factory reset to remove passwords.
Donations can be dropped off at the 1900 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment.
Call 612-752-8000 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to notify the organization of your donation or to schedule an off-hours donation.
Cell phones and tablets can also be mailed to:
ATTN: Cell Phones
1900 Chicago Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Please contact Avivo prior to mailing a phone or tablet.
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