Bob Monio, Clays 4 Youth

Blog Post: Impacting lives and eliminating youth homelessness

Written by: Bob Monio, Volunteer and Clays 4 Youth Director

Imagine… every single night in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area over 3,000 youth are homeless. Homeless! Searching for food, direction, and help to create significance, direction, and fulfillment for their lives.

Not a pretty picture, is it? When you think of Minneapolis/St. Paul, you think of it as the sprawling Metroplex that houses the Twins, the Vikings, the Wild, the University of Minnesota, major corporations like 3M and Cargill…. And most of all, “Minnesota Nice.”

But how can “Minnesota Nice” allow this kind of hopelessness for our youth? Hopelessness that puts these kids on a dangerous path merely to survive. A path that is not healthy nor one that fulfills their goals, hopes, and dreams. Couple this with the recent turmoil suffered by the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in the past few years and you can see our community has a big problem.

But this should be a simple fix…. At least that is what we are told… Fix the path and help the youth meet their key needs…. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. It is HARD. It takes mentorship, investment of time, shelter, educational support, and even employment assistance so the individual can grow into the pathway that has been ordained for them. You cannot count on the government for this…. And for most of these youth, they cannot count on their families or Church’s either. This is where HOPE 4 Youth steps in.

HOPE 4 Youth is a volunteer-led organization – backed by donations and fundraising activities – that invests in helping youth get on the right track to fulfillment.

Through the use of trauma-informed care (TIC), strengths-based mentorship, client-centered programs, and harm reduction support/sheltering, HOPE 4 Youth successfully turns around the homelessness of the youth in the Metro area and puts them on the pathway to success. The stories and cases are numerous – with results that would astound you.

As I mentioned, HOPE 4 Youth’s programs are supported through volunteers, fund-raising, and donations. Clays 4 Youth is one such fund-raising effort that brings the outdoors and Clay Target sports together at the largest Clay Target entertainment venue in the upper Midwest.

With clay target shooters, sponsors (corporate, individual), and a number of individuals who are committed to making a difference in the lives of these youth, Clays 4 Youth is a yearly event that benefits HOPE 4 Youth and their programs. Held at the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club in Prior Lake Minnesota – Clays 4 Youth brings together some of Minnesota’s top corporate organizations, clay target shooters, and others for a day of fun, competition, tasty food, and fun.

With HOPE 4 Youth present to help tell the story, attendees have a chance to learn how their contributions are effective while also creating the financial vehicles necessary to fund the two main programs of HOPE 4 Youth. These include the Drop-In Center that serves as the hub for many services by meeting their basic needs and giving them to tools to thrive. Next up is HOPE Place – a 12-unit transitional housing facility where youth can live and receive supportive services while working to become self-sufficient.

Would you like to learn more? Visit the event webpage for more information. Join the mission of Clays 4 Youth by donating an auction gift, a sponsorship, or join us for the Clays competition. The food, camaraderie, and atmosphere of the Horse and Hunt Club make this a cannot miss event…. and our team would love to have you there! The smile and warm “thank you” from a HOPE 4 Youth participant will have you going home fulfilled knowing that you are making a difference in the LIFE of a homeless youth.

Sign up today or make a donation. Together, we can make a difference!

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