Solcana Fitness, a Minneapolis-based, queer-friendly, social-justice minded, feminist gym recently launched a membership referral program that underscores its deep commitment to strengthening the community in which it operates. As a part of its new refer-a-friend initiative, for every referral who signs a 6 or 12-month contract, Solcana will donate $50 to Avenues for Youth, a Hennepin County-based social impact organization that empowers youth ages 16-24 to find their path out of homelessness. Solcana will also donate an additional $5 to Avenue for Youth every time a prospective member tries a free trial class, which takes place Saturdays and Sundays at 11 am.
“At Solcana, our goal is to actualize our best selves while also securing that opportunity for others,” said founder and head coach, Hannah Wydeven. “Because Avenues for Youth helps youth experiencing homelessness achieve their dreams and live their best lives, it was an easy decision to choose this organization as a recipient of our community giving program.”
For 25 years, Avenues has supported youth ages 16-24 in Hennepin County. Whether a young person needs someplace to stay for just one night, or a year and a half, Avenues empowers youth to find their path out of homelessness. The nonprofit does that by providing a stable home, building trusting relationships, and navigating the youth’s education, career, health and wellness and housing goals. Avenues supports around 300 youth a year.
“Avenues supports hundreds of youth experiencing homelessness every year, and we couldn’t do that without the support of the community,” said Avenue for Youth Executive Director Katherine Meerse. “Every dollar raised by Solcana’s fundraiser will help house and support a young person experiencing homelessness. We’re grateful for Solcana’s partnership.”
A core value at Solcana Fitness is making rigorous, high-level fitness available to all people, regardless of their circumstances. The gym’s fitness offerings include CrossFit, strength, weightlifting, endurance, gymnastics, postnatal and active mobility classes, along with nutrition classes. Each year, Solcana offers full scholarships to 10 people of color who are interested in becoming members but cannot afford the membership fee.
“At Solcana, we understand that equality and equity are not the same things, and that to strengthen our community, we need to create a space that is accessible and available to all,” continued Wydeven. “Avenues for Youth is an organization with similar guiding principles that has been making a difference for more than two decades, and together, we can build a more equitable community.”
This giving initiative is in effect through April 2020.