HOPE 4 Youth launches ‘This is Not a Home’ awareness campaign

North metro suburban citizens will gather at Keller Williams Classic Realty in Coon Rapids (1740 116th Ave. NW #100, Coon Rapids) Sunday, Nov. 10 in support of National Homeless Youth Awareness Month and HOPE 4 Youth’s first Give to the Max Day Campaign called “This is Not a Home.”

This is not a home – the American dream unrealized. Photo courtesy of Deb Sakry Lande

This is not a home – the American dream unrealized. Photo courtesy of Deb Sakry Lande

The campaign is co-sponsored by Connexus Energy who will match every donation made to HOPE 4 Youth on the Nov. 14 Give to the Max Day.

BBDO Worldwide, Minneapolis office, created the campaign, which features images of a car, a cardboard shelter and other images surrounded by a white picket fence, symbolizing the American dream unrealized for millions of American youth.

The kick-off event is free and open to the public and takes place noon to 2 p.m. at Keller Williams Classic Realty in Coon Rapids. Concerned citizens, including hundreds of local high school students conducting a “Spirit Battle,” will stand together in support of ending youth homelessness.

On Give to the Max Day donations can be made at www.givemn.razoo.com/story/Hope-4-Youthmn.

HOPE 4 Youth started in November 2012 because citizens, Anoka-Hennepin School District 11 staff and nonprofit leaders gathered together to address the youth homelessness issue in Anoka County.

On March 4, 2013 their passion and determination opened the doors at HOPE 4 Youth, Anoka County’s first drop-in resource center for youth experiencing homelessness.

Deb Sakry Lande was hired as HOPE 4 Youth’s first executive director Nov. 1.

Lande brings nearly two decades of experience in nonprofit management and affordable housing to her position.

“The fact that youth are sleeping in cars and tents is completely unacceptable,” Lande said. “Passionate people in our area want the problem solved. We don’t just want a Band-Aid, we want a cure. Only by working together, will we move in that direction.”

Lande has 13 years in the affordable housing industry and a master’s degree in education emphasizing youth development leadership.

HOPE 4 Youth is a nonprofit community organization that serves youth who are experiencing homelessness through Housing, Outreach, Prevention and Education (HOPE).

The organization serves youth under age 24 and operates on the vision that all youth will feel safe, valued, and supported while reaching their full potential. This begins with meeting their basic needs and leads to giving them the tools to thrive.

Between eight and 30 youth visit the drop-in center each day.

Staff can be reached at 763-323-2066. See www.hope4youthmn.org for more information.

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