Our housing programs provide safe, affordable housing, but part of what makes our programs so impactful is the additional supportive services our participants receive. These services include classes in parenting, nutrition, financial literacy and other life skills led by our staff. Other organizations also help us provide activities that make life more special and bring families together. We’re grateful to organizations like Tickets for Kids for helping to provide the children (and parents) in our programs with sparks of creativity and inspiration.
“This may sound silly, but after going to the play Cinderella, I felt like I get it. I get what the program is trying to do. After we saw that play, it was so fun, I felt like I really wanted a better, different life.”–Transitional Housing Program (THP) Participant
Tickets for Kids helps provide low income and at-risk kids and their chaperones with the opportunity to explore different cultural resources that become available through tickets from individual donors, venues, corporations, businesses and foundations. This includes plays like The Wiz and Cinderella at Children’s Theatre Company, as well as entrance to museums and sporting events like Minnesota Wild hockey games and Minnesota Timberwolves basketball games.
In 2017, THP families attended more than 10 events through Tickets for Kids; most recently, families have seen Sesame Street Live, Disney on Ice: Frozenand Marvel Universe LIVE! at the Target Center, and Beauty and the Beastat SteppingStone Theatre. In April of 2018, Tickets for Kids reached out to invite girls in our housing programs to the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Event at the Science Museum of Minnesota.
The girls saw Dream Big, a movie about three female engineers who chose to better others’ lives with their expertise. They even had a chance to meet one of the engineers from the movie, Menzer Pehlivan, and explored the Science Museum exhibits and the LEGO towers replicating famous buildings like the ones Pehlivan has worked on.
“It’s powerful for them,” Rikeisha Stowers, THP Children’s Program Assistant at YWCA St. Paul, said. “They cherish it because it’s something they wouldn’t be able to do if we didn’t have these tickets.”
Tickets to fun, educational events and other donations that focus on the arts and sciences—like the 85 bags of art supplies recently donated by Free Arts Minnesota/Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities courtesy of Comcast—provide a release and a relief for families and children who are undergoing more stress than many people can even imagine. YWCA St. Paul’s relationships with these organizations are an important and not-to-be-overlooked component to the services we provide to families in crisis.