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Lantern Light

In May 2021, we announced plans to bring new, safe, and affordable housing in Fargo at the former convent building of the Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The one- to four-bedroom spaces at Lantern Light will be home for approximately 60. YWCA staff will have a presence onsite to help women as they overcome barriers they encounter in life.


Wondering how YOU can help?

Before Lantern Light opens, YWCA will announce opportunities for the community to help outfit the apartments by providing household goods and supplies for women and families. If you would like to ensure you receive this information, please fill out the form below.

Just $24 provides a night of safe housing complete with supportive services to a woman; or $48 provides one night of housing for a mother and her child.


Frequently Asked Questions

No. It is affordable housing with support services and no defined deadline for program exit. Residents pay up to 30 percent of their annual income toward their rent and receive supportive services. YWCA Emergency Shelter is different in that it offers urgent shelter and crisis services. A common thread Lantern Light shares with a shelter stay is the human aspect of a caring and professional YWCA support advocate or case manager.
In general, supportive housing is needed because survivors often lack the building blocks of independence: a living wage, savings, adequate credit, childcare, and reliable transportation. In 2020, the average stay at our shelter was 36 days. Many will find jobs and make significant progress in just over a month, yet it is not enough time to recover and become financially stable. More specifically, supportive housing is a particular need for domestic violence survivors. They face a special challenge because they are not provided high priority for supportive housing that exists in Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo, often making it difficult for them to gain safe housing. All shelters and agencies use a coordinated entry system to address homelessness community wide. This system involves a scoring process to determine priority for apartments, with highest priority given to people chronically homeless. Many domestic violence survivors are homeless for the first time and rank lower in priority for supportive housing. YWCA is seeing families wait long periods of time for housing. YWCA Supportive Housing has the flexibility to accept women who have fled domestic violence, ensuring that survivors are not left to face homelessness as their next crisis.
Individuals and families escaping domestic violence will be provided a preference for housing, followed by those facing homelessness. YWCA is pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
At YWCA, supportive housing costs about half as much as providing shelter: • $44 for a night of shelter • $24 for a night of supportive housing Since 1990, YWCA supportive housing has been a proven solution. A woman who participates in the program earns more money, is healthier, and is better equipped to maintain housing and create a family where children thrive. Survivors of domestic violence have time to resolve complete financial ruin by abusers, often navigating single parenthood as the sole income provider. For some, the timeline is lengthy and challenging, and the stability of housing across months and years is what it takes to end poverty for her and the next generation. YWCA Supportive Housing has helped thousands to become healthier, secure better jobs, stay employed, engage with teachers and schools, maintain an apartment, gain justice through court prosecution of violent abusers, build better credit, save for reliable cars, and accomplish many other successes. For children, it has meant a dinner table where there are family meals and space for homework. They have warm beds and a real home where friends come over to play. Home has been at the heart of their healthy development.
Supportive housing brings affordable homes coupled with YWCA services to survivors of domestic violence and homelessness. In this special housing, women and children can live safely, heal, and gain new skills to live with the greatest possible independence. At the same time, children grow up in safe home environments that are essential to ending cycles of poverty and violence. Supportive housing prevents dangerous homelessness or return to abusers - both carrying high human cost as well as costs that accrue to the community through expensive emergency care, law enforcement involvement, and other systems.
Applicants must go through a screening process and qualify to live at Lantern Light. Some residents will be coming from existing YWCA programming, while others will be referred from other organizations in the community.
Families can stay as the long as they need. This is permanent supportive housing, and recovering physically, mentally, and economically from the effects of abuse and poverty may take many years. Individuals with children who bear the sole financial responsibility for a family during costly child-rearing years face tremendous challenge. Residents may increase their income while living at Lantern Light. If they exceed the annual median area income for their apartment, they may continue to live at Lantern Light but will pay market rent.
Lantern Light is for individuals and families of limited financial means. The apartments have income caps, so residents may not move into the residence if they exceed these caps. Some residents will grow their income while living at Lantern Light. If they exceed the annual median area income for their apartment unit, they may continue living at Lantern Light but will pay market rent. Some residents will reach a point of financial security and opt to live independently outside the program.
Just like YWCA Shelter, Lantern Light will provide caring advocacy services. Professionals are trained to navigate community resources, troubleshoot life’s challenges, and offer a voice of encouragement to help individuals and families feel steady and assured. Other services include: • Resources and coaching to find jobs, training, or education • Nursing services available • Transportation assistance • Childcare assistance • Staple food items on an individual basis • Basic need items like shampoo and household cleaning supplies donated by community members
Individuals and families can have visitors but must follow the policy outlined in their lease. This lease will be carefully crafted to recognize the need for safety by individuals and families recovering from domestic violence.
For the community, YWCA Supportive Housing addresses important societal goals: ending domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, and racial injustice. YWCA’s housing program serves a high proportion of black and Native American women who are helped in gaining economic security. Through YWCA, they have level opportunity for housing, plus resources to secure employment and other supports that remove barriers people of color commonly face.
The community is invited to support this important calling to help women and children. It costs just $24 to provide a night of safe housing complete with supportive services to a woman; or $48 to provide one night of housing for a mother and her child. Donations are accepted online above or by check to YWCA (4650 38th Avenue S. Suite 110, Fargo, ND 58104). Before Lantern Light opens, YWCA will announce opportunities for the community to help outfit the apartments by providing household goods and supplies for women and families. If you would like to ensure you receive this information, please fill out the form above.