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 nearly impossible. When coupled with poor credit, low-income jobs, chronic homelessness, and limited education, few options are available. For 28 years, YWCA Supportive Housing has provided a proven solution to help women and their families rebuild their lives. 

In 2015, YWCA developed a strategic plan with expanding supportive housing as a top priority. Last year, only 19 percent of the 314 women and children eligible for YWCA’s supportive housing program were able to be accepted.

In 2016, Pastor Joel Baranko from Lutheran Church of the Cross invited us to share our vision. He saw vacant church-owned property as potential grounds for additional YWCA supportive housing. Over the past two years, key partners have joined the project and our vision of more homes for families in need is becoming a reality.

Grace Garden: A YWCA Supported Residence will provide homes for 30 families at risk of homelessness, many of them transitioning from domestic violence. Apartment homes will range from one to four bedrooms. There will also be YWCA staff offices, a community room, exercise room, patio, garage and playground. The total project cost is $7.1 million.

  • Lutheran Church of the Cross is leasing YWCA land adjacent to the church in West Fargo.
  • Gate City Bank is donating $1.5 million over 12 years for start-up costs and supportive services. Through the Seeds of Hope program, YWCA staff will walk alongside families as they grow in stability, health, confidence and empowerment. Each family will be supported on their journey to independence.
  • North Dakota Housing Finance Agency has committed $672,500 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs),$325,549 from the National Housing Trust Fund and $500,000 from the Housing Incentive Fund. An investor will syndicate the LIHTCs, bringing more than $6 million in equity to the project.
  • North Dakota Department of Commerce has committed $250,000 from the Governor’s Community Development Block Grant Discretionary Funds for land acquisition.
  • Housing Authority of Cass County has committed $2 million in Housing Choice Vouchers over 15 years to ensure affordability for 30 extremely low-income families.
  • Beyond Shelter, Inc. is sharing affordable housing expertise with YWCA to develop and finance the residence.
  • Shultz & Associates Architects, architects of YWCA’s Emergency Shelter, which opened in 2004, will design Grace Garden.

Grace Garden will be a place of safety and sure footing for 30 families seeking a better life. With assurance of an affordable home and support unique to their goals, families will be able to improve their economic stability and health, breaking the cycles of abuse and poverty for the next generation.

Construction began in summer 2018 and we anticipate welcoming families to Grace Garden in summer 2019.

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The above image shows constructions beginning in summer 2018.