2020 National Philanthropy Day Award Honoree

Ain Dah Yung Center
Providing a culturally-responsive "good new home" for Native youth

Ain_Dah_Yung_Center.jpgSince 1983, the Ain Dah Yung Center (ADYC) has addressed the critical need for culturally relevant programs and a safe place for American Indian youth and families in the Twin Cities. Last November, they opened the doors to their new building, Mino Oski Ain Dah Yung (meaning “good new home” in Ojibwe) in the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul. For the Mino Oski Ain Dah Yung Capital Campaign, the organization mobilized their own Native communities—including the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and fellow honoree Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community—to effectively raise over $17.5 million dollars to support a vision that Executive Director Deb Foster developed in partnership with folks from her community and, most importantly, the Native youth with whom they work.

The Ain Dah Yung Center provides a healing place within the community for American Indian youth and families to thrive in safety and wholeness. Each year, ADYC provides services to 1,100 youth and families and serves as a national model for providing a continuum of care and services recognizing that in American Indian culture, you can’t grow as a person until you have honor, dignity and respect for both yourself and everything around you.

Mino Oski Ain Dah Yung is a first-of-its-kind building in Minnesota. Offering permanent, supportive housing for 18- to 24-year-old American Indians, the ambitious project represents a unique partnership with Project for Pride in Living, along with collaborators Fox Advancement, DSGW Architects, and Loeffler Construction. The new 42-unit supportive housing program offers onsite culturally responsive life skill development and mental health services for Native young people who have been in crisis and/or homeless with no safe place to call home. The organization utilizes traditional Native teachings and experiences to strengthen residents’ cultural identity and help them create a sense of belonging and connection which is imperative to the success of Native youth.

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