Did you know that an estimated 400+ teenagers in the Western Suburbs of the Twin Cities are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless? This is not Minneapolis or St. Paul we are talking about, but suburban communities often considered affluent: Minnetonka, Wayzata, Eden Prairie and more. These teenagers become homeless for a number of reasons, including substance abuse, divorce, physical or emotional abuse, neglect, mental health issues and/or disabilities. And their numbers are growing.
These teens are eating, showering and sleeping at school or friends' homes. Sometimes they are spending nights outside seeking shelter wherever they can such as parked cars or Porta Potties because their doors lock.
Teaming Up For Teens is a program sponsored by the Hopkins Elks Lodge #2221 in partnership with other local community service organizations and resources serving the Western Suburbs. The mission of Teaming Up For Teens is to supply basic hygiene needs and link together services for our homeless and at risk teens in the Western Suburbs so they can protect themselves from the elements and actively participate in school. We do this by teaming up with local schools and services to identify and then provide basic health and hygiene items not currently available to their homeless and at-risk teens. We also provide fingertip/local resource information along with support and encouragement as this otherwise hidden group of youths strive to complete school and transition into adulthood and self-sufficiency.We are funded through a partnership with the Hopkins Elks Lodge as well as through private donations and various fundraising activities.