YWCA Cass Clay - Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women

The above video is an aerial view of the future project.

Finding a home after devastating poverty or abuse is like finding a needle in a haystack. Then climbing through the needle’s eye to pass the scrutiny of landlords able to pick and choose their tenants. It’s nearly impossible.

Women with poor credit, low-income jobs, chronic homelessness or working hard on an education find few options. For 27 years, YWCA Supportive Housing has been one answer for women and children to rebuild following emergency shelter stays.

Yet, supportive housing is in dire shortage in our community.

Together, Lutheran Church of the Cross and YWCA plan to build a 30-apartment supportive housing project for women and children. Land adjacent to the church in West Fargo will be leased to YWCA, giving a stream of income for the church’s mission. The nonprofit Beyond Shelter, an expert in affordable housing projects, will help YWCA garner an estimated $7.5 million in grants and financing to construct the building. Cass County Housing Authority will provide permanent housing rental vouchers to women in the program.

The 30 apartments will range from one to four bedrooms. From two offices, YWCA advocates will provide coaching and guidance for women and their families to overcome barriers. A community room, playground and patio are included in preliminary designs.

Gate City Bank is donating $1.5 million over 12 years to give this project a sure start, and guarantee support services to women and children for the years 2019 to 2029.

This generous gift provides $50,000 in project start-up costs, such as architectural and site services. It also brings a confident source for programming, the supportive services or “people” aspect of the vision. Guiding advocacy is an essential ingredient for success. YWCA will walk alongside women as they grow in resiliency, health, parenting skills, confidence and self-reliance. There will be support to find jobs and reach other goals of each woman and her journey. Gate City Bank’s investment will be leveraged to show local support for the project and make funding requests for building more competitive.

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