Theresa Avivo

As a young girl, Theresa was abused. As a teenager, she started to drink and use drugs to deal with her pain. When Theresa got older, her use caused severe problems—including homelessness.

Without a safe place to call home, Theresa moved around, living with different friends and family members. She shared this was a difficult time, as she was also separated from her daughter.

After Avivo, a Greater Twin Cities United Way partner, reached out to her, Theresa decided to make a major life change. She enrolled in Avivo’s family residential treatment program, where she was able to receive chemical dependency counseling with mental health services while being reunited with her daughter.

Now, they live as a family in an apartment in Avivo’s family recovery housing where Theresa is attending programming and support groups while her daughter also gets the support she needs.

In addition, Theresa entered Avivo’s short-term career training program and is taking steps to achieve her educational and employment goals to later move into independent permanent housing.

“Avivo is helping me grow, and my daughter and I are growing together,” said Theresa.

“Most of the women we serve have been homeless,” said Avivo President & CEO Kelly Matter. “United Way’s support helps Avivo provide a safe home for nearly 85 women a year while they work hard to change their lives and be great moms.”

Read Theresa’s full story at avivomn.org.

At United Way, we work alongside 15 youth and family housing providers to respond to current needs as well as provide ongoing, holistic support services like case workers, outreach, and mental health resources to those experiencing homelessness. Together, we can move our neighbors out of homelessness and into stability.

Last year, thanks to generous gifts from our donors, we changed lives by raising $688,000 through our Home For Good initiative to help approximately 100 youth and 178 families out of homelessness.