Year in Review: Live well. Work well.

Year in Review

In 2018, Avivo was immersed in the worthwhile work of advancing recovery and economic wellness for all Minnesotans. Our priority remains addressing the deep needs our neighbors face and removing systemic barriers to success. With your support, nearly 15,000 people were able to transform their lives this past year! Thank you.

Last year, the ugly realities of homelessness, poverty, and addiction in Minnesota became more visible than ever. We saw the presence of the Minneapolis homeless encampment ignite; the crisis of opioid use soar; and unemployment continue for individuals for whom work is out of reach.

We are unswerving in our belief that everyone deserves the chance to live well and work well – individuals living in homelessness and poverty, and with a disability, mental illness, addiction, and chronic unemployment.

We achieved a significant milestone in combatting homelessness. Red Lake Nation asked Avivo to partner in October and house 100 native people living at The Wall of Forgotten Natives in four to six months. Thanks to amazing landlords and committed partners, we were able to house as many as 70 people by the end of 2018 — well on our way to finding housing for one hundred in under six months.

Another milestone for Avivo is in the area of ensuring that everyone has access to the treatment they need. We provided 2,131 chemical use assessments so people could access the best level of care.

Avivo also offers transitional recovery housing for individuals while in treatment. This increases participants’ abilities to achieve recovery. BATC-Housing First Minnesota Foundation and three build partners completely renovated our eight-unit apartment building which is home to 40 mothers and their children each year in our family treatment program. We also purchased two apartment buildings we were renting. This enables us to preserve transitional housing for our participants and eliminate the risk of losing housing in the future!

I remain proud to be a part of one of the largest workforce development organizations that helps people living in poverty economically advance. Avivo helped more than 4,300 individuals, who experience multiple or chronic barriers to self-sufficiency, find employment. And 2,897 individuals and their families moved off of welfare into work!

Avivo wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you. Thank you for being a champion to individuals and families in our community who are working so hard to transform their lives.

Please take time to scroll through our 2018 achievements and celebrate what we have done together!

With gratitude,

Kelly Matter
President & CEO

Take a Look

Look at what we accomplished together

Together, individuals who face complex barriers – poverty, homelessness, unemployment, chemical addiction or mental health concerns – are achieving recovery and economic stability.

See below!

People Served

Twin Cities metro counties,
St. Cloud, and Princeton

23,000 children benefitted from Avivo services

96% of Avivo participants live at 100% poverty level and below
(family of 4 living on annual salary of $25,100)

65% of individuals served are people of color


people accessed treatment &
mental health services


individuals entered
jobs or careers


individuals find housing and supportive services to avert homelessness

8 out of 10

participants retained
employment after 6 months


moved off welfare and into work


achieved industry credentials

You Count

Stories behind the numbers

Each person at Avivo counts. Everyone has unique abilities, connections to community, and a path for a healthy future.

Read a few of our participants’ stories.


“This job changed my life. I’m very happy,” says Hirut, mother of five children.  Hirut immigrated to the United States 22 years ago. She endured many hardships, including leaving an abusive marriage relationship. Needing to support her children, she enrolled in Avivo’s maintenance custodial training program. After graduating she secured a position with the City of Minneapolis.

“I like what I do. I’m so grateful for that,” says Hirut. “They don’t just teach us at Avivo, they take care of us.”


Antoinette, age 24 and mother of a three-year-old daughter, was living in supportive housing for youth. Deciding she needed to find a way to support herself, she turned to Avivo’s youth employment program. With Avivo’s help, Antoinette is on track to start a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). She’s certified now and looking for her first job! She is excited to move off of public assistance and earn enough to rent a two-bedroom apartment.

“I’m trying to go higher up to the LPN, to RN… I’m trying to push all the way,” she says. “But I’m going to take it step by step.”


“I’d completed recovery programs two different times,” says Tommy, “but never really stayed sober until I did career education at Avivo.”

Tommy enrolled in the maintenance custodial training program, graduated and passed the Minnesota Boiler’s Operator exam. Avivo’s employment and career services helped him gain confidence for his job hunt. Soon after graduation, he secured his job as a Chemical Maintenance and Waste Treatment Operator for a Twin Cities circuit board manufacturer.

In three years, Tommy has been promoted and received multiple pay raises. “It’s kind of amazing when I think about the changes that I’ve made.”


For years Vincent lived with undiagnosed PTSD, caused by several traumatic family events. To cope, he used illegal substances to self-medicate which ultimately led to his incarceration.

Once enrolled in Avivo’s treatment program, the confirmed dual diagnosis helped him choose the substance-free life he lives today.

Hitting one year of sobriety was a major achievement for him! He stayed connected to support and started volunteering to give back. He completed an internship as a recovery coach and hopes to turn his ability to relate to peers into a career.

“It’s been one big circle, everybody helping each other,” says Vincent. “I’m glad to be part of that.”


The Avivo Way

For each unique individual, Avivo pairs services whenever necessary for a foundation that helps participants achieve health, social, and economic wellness that transforms lives.

Chemical & Mental Health Services

Treatment, mental health services, housing & housing support, and care coordination

Avivo Institute of Career & Technical Education

Short-term training courses that launch individuals on career paths for in-demand jobs

Employment Services

Individualized services for youth, under- and un-employed individuals, immigrants, and people with disabilities

Unique Approaches

Children, infant to age 17, can live with their mothers while they are in treatment

Avivo offers one of very few programs in Minnesota that allows children over age 12 to live with mom during treatment

Scholarships for Avivo’s
Institute of Career & Technical Education

100 Avivo participants, who would otherwise not have access, are able to enroll in career training each year

Wellness integrated in services introduced organization-wide in 2018

Tobacco cessation, physical activity, and nutrition initiatives to increase participants’ successes

In case you missed it

Read our most popular media stories and sharables of 2018.


Minnesota agencies push faster access to drug treatment amid opioid epidemic



Avivo: A new place for mothers struggling with addiction



Avivo expands youth employment programs in St. Paul and east metro



Minnesota behavioral health organizations go tobacco-free



Pairing nutrition and treatment creates more successful path to recovery



Avivo purchases apartment buildings to preserve transitional recovery housing



Give Folks A Chance: Nonprofit urging landlords to help Minneapolis homeless camp residents



Record 339 families receive holiday gifts in Adopt-A-Family program


You helped us be the difference in the lives of others!

We couldn’t have done it without our amazing donors, volunteers, and partners.

hours donated by 701 volunteers
dollar value by independent sector of volunteer hours
contributed through charitable giving, including United Way

Download a PDF of this 2018 Report with financials and the lists of board members, funders, donors, and volunteers who helped make this work happen.