YWCA Leaders Speak with Legislators, Push for State Support of Affordable Housing

Last biennium, organizations that help homeless people only received $300,000 from the state for housing

FARGO, N.D. —¬†For many years, YWCA Cass Clay has been providing women and children battling homelessness and domestic violence a place to live and a chance to be heard.

“We don’t want to speak for them, but we do want to share their struggles and at the same time, some of the triumphs and the success stories that women are able to move on to live independently and live happier, healthier lives,” said Ellen Prochnow, the CEO of YWCA Cass Clay.

But with a new legislative session about to begin, Prochnow and other YWCA leaders are calling for more state support to help these people.

In the last budget, funding for the North Dakota Housing Grant went down 80%, only giving organizations across the state $300,000 for housing projects.

“We at the YWCA have been providing emergency shelter for 40 years, and supportive housing for 28 years, and I think are well positioned to advocate for the furtherance of affordable housing,” said Prochnow.

Some of the state legislators who spoke with YWCA representatives say that they will try to give organizations who help homeless people and victims of violence more of a voice at the state level.

“I think it’s important to listen to people who don’t have a traditional voice because the people who receive services here don’t have a lobby, so this is really our opportunity to see things that we don’t see routinely,” said State Representative Kathy Hogan, who represents District 27 (Fargo).

Long term, the YWCA leaders hope that additional state funding will pave the way for more opportunities to help the vulnerable in the community.

“Everyone deserves a safe, secure environment and those who have experienced violence and homelessness in their lives deserve a place to call home and that’s what we hope to offer,” said Prochnow.

YWCA Cass Clay recently received $500,000 from the state’s Housing Incentive Fund, which is being used to build the Grace Garden affordable housing project in West Fargo.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News