Kelly Matter
President & CEO

A stabilizing force and steady presence for our communities’ most vulnerable members — that is what describes Avivo as we persevere alongside Minnesotans working so hard to achieve recovery, move out of poverty, or escape homelessness. As you read this, our state and nation continue to advance measures to respond to the effects of COVID-19. Amidst it all, Avivo remains the combination of hands, help, and hope families rely on during times of health crisis and immense social and economic stress. For 60 years, we have been a pivot for many to live well and work well. Today is a time like no other. With the unfailing support of our partners, donors, volunteers, and friends, we remain a transformational force in the lives of people we serve.

Because of your commitment and generosity, at least three hallmarks point to our progress in 2019. We significantly advanced our work in helping end homelessness; piloted a new, evidence-based approach to helping families out of poverty; and saw increased access to treatment and recovery for individuals and families.

  • We helped 813 individuals transition from homelessness to housing with supports.
  • Nearly 3,000 individuals found employment or entered careers, and 2,000 individuals moved off of public assistance completely.
  • And more than 4,000 individuals increased their health and recovery through Avivo’s chemical and mental health services.

We have a remarkable partnership with Red Lake Nation to help address homelessness among Native Americans. Avivo launched a new street outreach team and will be providing mental health services for supportive housing currently being built by partners for our native neighbors. We’re working with Boston-based nonprofit Economic Mobility Pathways, or EMPath, to create an even more successful bridge to moving our families out of poverty.

Innovation and collaboration are paramount as we move forward into 2020. Avivo remains on the frontlines of helping our communities’ most vulnerable members during the pandemic – individuals experiencing homelessness, dealing with substance use disorders, and living with mental illness or in poverty. We’re advancing telehealth services, adopting mitigation procedures for in-person treatment and recovery housing programs, providing virtual employment services, and implementing online learning in career education. We are depending on our partners, funders, and community more than ever to accelerate innovation in response to such urgent needs and this rapidly changing landscape.

Action, together, during such periods in history is what makes all of us stronger. In the face of community-wide challenges ahead, thank you for standing with Avivo, financially and collaboratively. Together, we will ensure everyone can live well and work well, today and in the future.

With gratitude,

Kelly Matter
President & CEO

Look at what we accomplished together

Because of you — our volunteers, partners, donors and funders — individuals, who face complex barriers of poverty, homelessness, unemployment, chemical addiction or mental health concerns, are achieving recovery and economic mobility.


People Served

across the
Twin Cities
Metro and the
St. Cloud area


children benefitted
from Avivo services

(family of 4 living on annual salary of $25,100)


of Avivo participants live at
100% poverty level and below

(family of 4 living on annual salary of $25,100)


people of
color served

(family of 4 living on annual salary of $25,100)


individuals find housing and
supportive services to avert homelessness

8 out of 10

participants retained
employment after 6 months


access substance use
treatment & mental health services


individuals entered
jobs or careers


moved off of
welfare and into work


graduate from Avivo’s career education programs

compared to 54% and 68% from Minnesota two-year state colleges and private career schools, respectively (MN Department of Higher Education, 2017)

Living well and working well

Read what happens when Avivo participants discover their unique abilities, connect to community, and realize paths to healthy futures!


“There are really no programs like this,” shares Bailey, Avivo treatment graduate and mother of two. “I can’t speak highly enough of Avivo.” Bailey’s addiction started while in high school. Her addiction sent her spiraling downward, and she dropped out of high school. After being in jail several times, she changed her mind-set and chose treatment at Avivo. Staff helped her reunite with her daughter so they could recover together. Avivo counselors helped her look for a job. Now she is working as an office assistant in another treatment center and supporting her family.


“Avivo works with people with disabilities, and I wanted to get back to where I’d be able to work,” tells David, Avivo career education student. In a very short time, David’s career in maintenance halted when he experienced sight loss and an episode of heart failure. He needed to be retrained with the help of visual and audio supports. Avivo also connected him to external resources for people living with blindness. Now David works in building maintenance at the YMCA, and his doctors report that he is the healthiest he’s been in years!


“I can’t believe where I am now,” shares Melissa Bringsthem, a tribal member of Red Lake Nation. “Avivo helped me get better. I am really grateful. With my place, I am healing.” Melissa described herself as a raging alcoholic. Homeless and actively using, she lived in the homeless encampment in Minneapolis. She was the first of more than 150 individuals Avivo housed from the encampment and Navigation Center. Today, she is sober, living in her own apartment, and working part-time. She is going to school to achieve her dream of running her own native business.


“I want to help others and let them know that if I can come out of the depths of hell and find direction in life, anyone can do it,” shares Jeff, Avivo treatment program graduate. According to Jeff, he was heavily addicted to drugs and hopeless. He was homeless and ready to change when he entered treatment and recovery housing at Avivo. Taking advantage of all Avivo offered, he found employment after graduating from treatment and is now attending school to become an addiction counselor.

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.

Unique Approaches

Launched brain-science-based, mobility mentoring approach in 2019

Partnership with Boston-based EMPath will help Avivo re-imagine even more successful paths for people out of poverty.

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.

Culturally-specific and culturally-responsive mental health staff

Avivo implemented an internal workforce development program to increase diversity of mental health professionals.

Avivo in the News

Read our most popular media stories and sharables of 2019.


Preparing to return to work, after a life derailed by drugs (MPR News)



HandsOn Twin Cities partners with Avivo
(KARE 11)



Recognizing the complexity of schizophrenia is crucial to its treatment (MPR News)



Transition fair helps prepare inmates for life outside of prison (KARE 11)



We’re doing our part: Red Lake Nation & Avivo Ending Homelessness Day
(Star Tribune)



Navigation Center in Minneapolis get ready to close (KTSP-TV)



Free Twin Cities art workshops teach people with mental illness new skills, boost confidence (Star Tribune)



$400,000 grant funding job training program for people overcoming traumatic events (Star Tribune)


You helped us be the difference in the lives of people we serve!

Our amazing donors, volunteers, and partners help make our mission come alive.


volunteers sharing
7,634 hours


dollar value by
independent sector of volunteer hours


contributed through charitable
giving including United Way


We are looking forward to what we will do together for individuals and families in our community!

Download a PDF of our 2019 audited financials and the list of our Board of Directors. Thank you again for your support and for believing that everyone deserves the chance to live well and work well.