YWCA St. Paul logo

Success Story: Irina

Far away from friends and family, Irina spent seven years in an abusive marriage. “It was like living on a volcano,” she recalls, “never knowing when it would erupt.” With two children to think about, she knew she had to make a change.

Irina and her children sought refuge at a local domestic violence shelter. With just three dollars in her pocket and limited language skills, starting over seemed impossible. By enrolling in YWCA St. Paul’s Transitional Housing Program (THP), she was able to make a new start.

At YW Irina found not only a safe place to call home but also the ongoing support she needed to heal, build new skills and move forward. Over the course of two years, she set and achieved ambitious goals like learning English, becoming financially independent and learning to drive. It’s now been a year since she completed the program and Irina continues to thrive.

Like many single parents, Irina’s days are busy. She works as a personal care attendant, volunteers with a Russian language program and sings in her church choir. In the future she hopes to attend college, but for now she’s satisfied seeing her children healthy and happy. Thinking back to where they were just three years ago, she’s proud she was able to change their lives. “It was a very big risk to do something,” she says. “Now I realize it was a bigger risk to do nothing.”

“It was a very big risk to do something. Now I realize it was a bigger risk to do nothing.”

—Irina

Read More from YWCA St. Paul

YWCA St. Paul COVID-19 Update

YWCA St. Paul COVID-19 Update

For the protection of our members and staff, our Leadership Team has decided to close both our admin offices and our Health & Fitness Center, effective tomorrow, Tuesday, March 16. This change will remain in effect until further notice.

Read More »
Our Health & Fitness Center and Administrative offices are closed until further notice.Click to read the latest update.
Scroll to Top

YWCA St. Paul uses cookies to give you the best user experience. If you continue to use our services, we will assume that you agree to the use of such cookies.