I was previously a YWCA board member and am again in that role. I believe in the Y's mission and support its endeavors for women and children. I have also had this past year the opportunity to observe the excellent child care services provided to this community!
I was introduced to the YWCA in 2009 through community volunteer efforts. They provide an amazing service to the local women and community. Additionally, their recognition of the contribution of local women through the Women of Distinction event is amazing. So many women and children are in need here in Minot and the surrounding areas. Many are homeless due to very limited availability of housing and outrageous rent prices. The YWCA gives women a chance to get on their feet and off the street. It is unfortunate that the YWCA struggles with funding as a much bigger shelter is needed as well as more program availability.
The Minot YWCA Mission statement says that we are dedicated to the elimination of racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. The Minot YWCA does this by providing 7 long-term apartments for the chronically homeless, offering temporary shelter for women and children until they are able to find their way on their own, and providing childcare in a city that is in dire need of those services. I have been a board member for one year and have become more aware than ever of the hope that the YWCA provides for women and children in need. I have also learned the importance of educating our community about the services that the YWCA provides and the difference that it makes in our community.
The Minot YWCA is fulfilling a need in our region of North Dakota that is not being met by any other organization: The Minot YWCA's Florence Anderson Center of Hope is the only shelter for chronically homeless women in the area, providing small apartments for single women and their children. The YWCA also helps the women with childcare and job searches, and generally helps them get back on their feet. The shelter also has rooms to house women on an emergency basis (domestic violence)
The Minot YWCA also operates an excellent childcare facility (Early Learning Center) to help fill a great need for childcare in the city of Minot, even though it is a struggle to maintain financial support of the center.