Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Avivo Village offers tiny homes for 100 homeless people in North Loop warehouse


September 21, 2022

Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Resident Cynthia Lamas, in her Avivo Village residence, spent most of last year living in her car. "My goals right now are to be productive and keep uplifting people."

A nondescript warehouse in Minneapolis' North Loop is home to Avivo Village, pop. 100, a shelter like no other. It's thought to be the country's first indoor, tiny-home community offering secure, private 70-square-foot bedrooms and on-site services to people who previously lived outdoors.

The boxy homes, which look almost like ice fishing houses, are arranged in long rows with nature-themed "street" names marked in English and Ojibwe. And for the past several weeks, one with a unicorn painting in its front window has been Cynthia Lamas' first stable home since she was released from prison in 2019.

Lamas spent years mired in many of the same challenges faced by other Avivo residents: incarceration, substance use, unhealthy relationships, grief and health issues.


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