Everyday, there are approximately 6,000 youth ages 16-24 in Minnesota that will be without a home. As you read this, these youth are trying to find their next meal and locate a safe place to sleep. The likelihood is high that these vulnerable youth will experience untreated mental health disorders, struggle with substance use, engage in survival sex or trafficking, become victims of violent crime, or complete suicide.
Youth experiencing housing instability and homelessness are resilient and motivated. They may be attending high school while sleeping in a car or trying to hold down a job while couch surfing. Youth report the hardest barrier they face when leaving homelessness is a lack of stable employment. Maintaining work without a permanent home and the soft skills that are attractive to employers can make it difficult for young people to gain the income needed to leave homelessness.
Wildflyer Coffee is a nonprofit coffee company that addresses this barrier and works to end youth homelessness by offering dignified employment support to youth aged 16-24. Through a 6-month employment and life skills training program, youth develop the personal and professional skills they need to find employment and housing stability. They are supported in their journeys out of homelessness for good.
What is 60 for 6,000?
We've seen firsthand the hard work and resiliency these youth show on a daily basis, and we want to show that same dedication. Join the challenge and engage in 60 miles of physical activity of your choosing (running, walking, biking, etc.) within 60 days. You’ll have between September 1 and October 30 to complete the challenge.
Not sure how to get started? It's pretty easy!
Click" join" at the top of this page, and you'll be redirected to a registration screen. Don't worry, it's free to sign-up!
Once you've registered, you'll receive an email with our fundraising toolkit to provide step-by-step instructions about how to set up your page. It's also got plenty of advice on how to communicate with your friends and family about they can get involved!
Choose your activity. You can run, walk, bike, swim, canoe, climb, or anything else that gets your body moving. You've got 60 days to complete 60 miles. After you've got your activity down, choose a way to track your miles. We recommend using app-based platforms like Strava, Map my Run, Nike Run, or Runkeeper. Track and share your miles with your supporters and Wildflyer! Don't be afraid to find an accountability partner, or better yet, make it a friendly competition!
Get out there and do it! However you plan on completing the challenge, make sure you update your fans and share your journey with us using the hashtag #milesforwildflyer and #60for6000.
How you do it is up to you! All at once? Crush it. One mile a day? Take your time. Make it into a competition with a friend, you do you. The point is to complete the challenge, raise awareness and funds for youth homelessness, and have some *socially distanced* fun while doing so.
"I'm proud that I've worked on my anger. I used to be angry all the time, and I'd lose jobs and relationships because of it. Now I've been at Wildflyer for six months and haven't had any outbursts. I've really worked on it, and being at a job for this long is proof that I'm succeeding."
When Koliesha first started with us, she shared that her most significant challenge in maintaining employment was her struggle with anger. She often lost her temper at work, resulting in conflict with management and ultimately being let go. By the time she started with us, this struggle with losing control had already caused her several jobs. We experienced this challenge almost immediately when an intense conflict erupted at the cart.
However, through employment coaching and life skills classroom sessions, Koliesha was able to start cultivating new skills to help her manage emotions better on the job. She has been successful in doing so, having realized that her time at Wildflyer is the longest she’s maintained employment in one place!
She was successful in doing so because recently, she realized that her time at Wildflyer is the longest she's maintained employment in one place.
For Koliesha, having dignified work led to remarkable changes in her life and well-being. She reports, "I've learned how to control my anger better. I have better relationships now and am not getting into trouble at school or work."
The youth we employ at Wildflyer have experienced trauma, abuse, and rejection, which has a significant impact on how they view themselves and what they think they can accomplish. By providing opportunities to cultivate skills that lead to independence, you help young people grow in confidence, pride, and hope for their future. Koliesha's personal and professional growth is just one more example of why we believe so strongly in the power of dignified employment.
When you take the 60 for 6,000 challenge, you’re helping us make more opportunities for youth like Koliesha. Thanks for making a difference with us today!