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Community Event: Shining light on pregnant and parenting youth experiencing homelessness

Mark your calendar to help shine a light on the more than 2,000 at-risk, pregnant and parenting youth experiencing homelessness across Minnesota. Join emergency shelter, The Bridge for Youth, as it hosts its third annual “Sprout, a Celebration of Motherhood” community event on April 25, 6:30 p.m. at The Hutton House in Medicine Lake.

 

The free event is open to all who want to celebrate moms and support young families. The night will offer a glimpse into the strength and journey of pregnant and parenting youth who are homeless, and address housing, mental health and other services critical to serving this community.

 

Sheletta Brundidge, Emmy-Award winning comedian, author and radio host, will emcee the evening, and Jamela Pettiford, Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame inductee, will perform live. Attendees will hear about the power of mothers from activist and healer, Marea Perry, and from a graduate of the Bridge for Youth housing program.

 

Sprout is partnering with women-owned and award-winning caterer, Fork and Flair, to offer guests complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages available for purchase.

 

“Our goal is to amplify the voice of young mothers, build community, empower youth, and raise funds in support of young families,” said Brittney Riedinger, Sr. Manager of Development, The Bridge for Youth. “It’s essential that we provide programs for pregnant and parenting youth to help all youth feel safe, accepted and supported.”

 

The Bridge for Youth offers shelter to all youth, including those who identify as BIPOC and LGBTQ+. In Minnesota, the birth rate of youth who identify as BIPOC is three times higher than that of white youth, and youth with the highest percent of subsequent births are from BIPOC communities.

 

Committed to youth equity and supporting youth through safe shelter, basic needs and healthy relationships, The Bridge for Youth has the only emergency shelter in Minnesota for pregnant and parenting youth, ages 15-17 and their children, ages 0-3.

 

It also has the only site-based transitional housing program in Hennepin County for pregnant and parenting youth, ages 16-20, and their children, ages 0-3, providing housing, access to healthcare and parenting education.

 

With fewer than 15 site-based transitional living units in Minnesota designated as safe to serve teen parents experiencing homelessness, The Bridge for Youth will address how event attendees can support the $3.5 million legislative ask it recently unveiled to double the size of housing programs for young families.

Funding would secure up to 40 new housing units and address the critical disparity between the need and the number of youth who need assistance.

 

“Parenting is challenging enough in the best of circumstances, but for parenting

youth experiencing homelessness, the difficulties facing them can be overwhelming,” says Riedinger. “When they come to the Bridge, they have their own room, they work with a case manager and receive therapeutic and mental health services.”

 

For more information and to RSVP for the Sprout event, visit Bridgeforyouth.org/Sprout.

 

Sprout, a Celebration of Motherhood

6:30-8:30 p.m. – April 25, 2024

The Hutton House

10715 S. Shore Drive, Medicine Lake

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