• Chanell

    After the loss of her daughter's father, Chanell struggled to find housing stability. With YWCA St. Paul's Rapid Re-Housing program and her own determination, Chanell found an apartment that she has made a home for her and her two daughters, and finally had the security and capacity to accomplish a longstanding goal: getting her GED. Watch Video
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  • Australia

    The YWCA St. Paul's transitional housing program gave Australia the support she needed, but what she did for the YWCA St. Paul goes beyond one family. Watch Video
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  • Irina

    Irina came to the YWCA from a domestic violence shelter. At the YWCA she and her children found not only a safe place to call home but also the support they needed to begin a new life. Watch Video
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  • Shalonda

    After spending more than a decade in an abusive relationship, Shalonda made the courageous decision to break away. In our Transitional Housing Program, she's made a new start for herself and her daughter. Watch Video
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  • Rozan

    As a participant in the Permanent Supportive Housing Program, Rozan has not only made a home for herself and her daughters, but continues to make incredible strides toward obtaining her GED. Watch Video
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  • Shanika

    As a participant in YWCA St. Paul's Transitional Housing Program, Shanika has made a new start for herself and her family. Watch Video
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Australia

Australia had always had a job to support herself and her two sons. After switching to working part time in order to pursue her education full time, however, she wasn’t able to keep up with rent.

“I got one month behind in my rent, and I didn’t have a place to go, not even a relative or a friend or a boyfriend or anything where we could just go,” she remembers. Australia’s sister advised her to go into shelter.

Australia made and her sons were placed in transitional housing—a stabilizing step for families who are coming out of homelessness—for 22 months. During this time, she was able to pay off bills and save money. As she worked to make her situation more stable, she realized she had the inner strength and motivation to give back and help others.

One way that Australia gave back was by organizing the YWCA’s Donation Closet, a resource of household supplies for families. Her organizational skills helped the agency better serve families in situations similar to what Australia had been in. She can relate to the importance of the items there, saying, “It’s good to have something that makes it feel that your house is still a home.”

Now, Australia has a full time job and she rents a home for her family. She one day hopes to buy her own home for her boys to enjoy while they’re still young.

Her success is what the staff at the YWCA works their hearts out for each and every day.

“It’s more than just a community center, it’s more than just a place to work out,” she says. “It’s a place where people’s lives change, and without it the outcome would be different.”

 Watch video

"It’s a place where people’s lives change, and without it the outcome would be different."