- Associated Press - Sunday, January 15, 2017

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - The Minot area’s emergency shelter services for women and children have been facing high demand.

The Minot Housing Authority has nearly 500 households on a waiting list for housing vouchers, but moving from that waiting list into housing can take more than the two months Minot YWCA allows women to stay.

The YWCA’s shelter can house up to 17 people, and permits boys up to age 12. Women staying at the shelter must test clean of drugs in order to be allowed in, the Minot Daily News (https://bit.ly/2iai0Im) reported.

Minot YWCA executive director Lauren Moore said the shelter has had to turn many women away and refer them to shelters in other cities. She said a variety of factors contribute to homelessness, including housing costs, domestic violence, job losses and lack of daycare.

The women are allowed to stay at the shelter for up to two months so that they have time to find jobs and apartments. Moore said because of the lack of daycare, many women who have children have trouble holding a job or even making it to job interviews.

“The majority find their own apartments,” Moore said. “The housing authority is really good in working with us.”

Housing Authority occupancy director Mark Austin said because of rent drops in Minot, the voucher assistance limit has dropped from $594 to $553 per unit. Austin said that reduction makes it difficult to cover more households with the available voucher funding.

Moore said the biggest obstacle is raising enough money for operating costs like mortgage and utility bills.

“We definitely need monetary donations,” she said. “We want to increase our donor support. All the money stays local and stays with the facility. It goes back, essentially, to help the women.”

In addition to monetary donations, the YWCA also accepts items like hygiene products and cleaning supplies.


Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com

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