Quick Escape

Clicking the ‘Quick Escape’ button will take you away from this site swiftly and open a new webpage. If you are afraid your internet or computer usage is being monitored, please try to use a safe computer. If you are in danger and seeking safety, call YWCA Cass Clay at (701) 232-3449.

What We Do

2021 At-a-Glance

  • 22,699 nights of shelter provided
  • 35 days was the average stay
  • 1,314 women (696) and children (618) were provided safe shelter
  • 90% of women and children were fleeing domestic violence
  • 76% of individuals were from Cass and Clay Countries
  • 60% of people served were women and children of color

Emergency Shelter

We operate the largest Emergency Shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence, homelessness, and other crisis situations in North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. Our unique empowerment approach and onsite programs make our shelter the only resource of its kind in the region. Wherever someone may be on their journey, we walk alongside them to ensure they have access to the tools and resources necessary to reach their goals and ultimately, build a future free from poverty and violence for their family. In 2021, we provided safe shelter to 1,314 women and children.

YWCA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, pregnancy, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, parental status, military service, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.

Back of woman's head standing outside YWCA Emergency Shelter

Education & Employment

We offer a comprehensive Education and Employment program (E&E) to help women effectively break the cycles of poverty and homelessness. Our E&E Coordinator meets with each woman to set goals, discuss any obstacles, and outline action steps for moving forward.  

The program also provides access to our onsite computer lab and a variety of job readiness classes and workshops including: computer skills, resume creation, budgeting, and interview preparedness.  In 2021, we offered 134 classes. 

2021 At-a-Glance

  • 134 classes offered
  • 20% of women sheltered increased their education or income


2021 At-a-Glance

  • 638 children participated in Children’s Services programming
  • 2,886 nutritious meals were served
  • 51 children served in Study Buddies
  • 449 hours of Study Buddies provided
  • 91% of the time, children re-enrolled in school within three days of entering the shelter

Children’s Services

Children’s Services offers clothing and school supplies, on-site childcare, and counseling referrals. Children staying with us have often been exposed to poverty, violence, addiction, and other circumstances that hinder social and emotional development. While in our care, after basic needs are met, children learn about making healthy choices, have fun in a safe and supportive environment, strengthen relationships with family, and develop positive relationships with adults and other students.  

Also within Children’s Services is Study Buddies, an after-school program designed to help children succeed academically. 638 children participated in Shelter Children’s Services programming in 2021.


Health Services (in partnership with Sanford Health)

Many women who find themselves at our door do not have the resources to access healthcare services. An unmanaged physical or mental health condition is a significant obstacle for women working to transform their lives. The Sanford Registered Nurse at YWCA is a health educator, spiritual liaison, advocate, and referral resource for women and their families.

In 2020, Sanford launched a new onsite Residency Clinic at YWCA where, twice monthly, physicians in medical residency see women and children at the shelter to provide basic care.

Additionally, YWCA’s Respite Care Program brings two dedicated beds for women facing homelessness who are too ill or frail to recover from illness or injury on their own, but too well to be hospitalized. This collaboration with Sanford Health, Essentia Health, and the New Life Center was the 2018 winner of the Willie J. Mackey National Medical Respite Award for making a profound impact on our community.

2021 At-a-Glance

  • 1,868 one-on-one health sessions
  • 428 walk-in visits averted
  • 353 Emergency Room visits averted

2021 At-a-Glance

  • 240 individuals housed
  • 55,993 nights of housing provided
  • 56% of participants increased their education and/or income level
  • 70% of participants increased reduced their use of emergency services
  • 60% of participants improved their income
  • 87% of participants obtained stable housing upon exiting the program

Supportive Housing

For over 35 years, YWCA has offered supportive housing and was one of the first organizations to do so in North Dakota. 

While in the program, a woman and her family have the opportunity to live in a safe, secure, furnished apartment that costs up to 30% of what she earns annually. Experienced YWCA Housing Advocates walk alongside each woman every step of the way, providing what every one of us needs to be successful in life – support, guidance, and accountability. In addition we provide assistance with basic needs such as food, clothing, and transportation depending on each woman’s unique needs. 


Housing Stabilization

As part of our unique philosophy of empowerment, we aim to not only provide shelter to individuals experiencing homelessness but work to empower women and prevent homelessness altogether. Our Housing Stabilization Program includes a variety of supportive housing options and short-term assistance covering basic expenses like deposits, rent, and utility payments.  

Another key component of this program is our Food Pantry which supplies food boxes to the community, specifically those who are struggling to put food on the table. By helping with these needs, we believe we can prevent homelessness before it happens.  

To receive a food box, call the Shelter at 701-232-3449 Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Food Pantry Location:
YWCA Emergency Shelter
3000 S. University Drive 
Fargo, ND 58103

Food Pantry Hours:
Monday-Friday 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m

2021 At-a-Glance

  • 133 women and children received rental and other assistance
  • 3,253 individuals received food boxes
  • 44,335 pounds of food were distributed to hungry community members

Racial Justice

The mission of the YWCA Cass Clay Racial Justice Committee is to create opportunities for conversation that foster a diverse and unified community. Members of the committee have been trained to use the indigenous tradition of circle dialogue to facilitate discussions that generate greater awareness and mutual understanding.