• 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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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 the YWCA’s Transitional Housing Program (THP), she was able to make a new start.

At the YWCA 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.”

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