A woman who has suffered many losses in her life has made it through her pain and FINALLY sees a light at the end of the tunnel. She came to the YWCA after sleeping under the 3rd St. Bridge for many nights. She has a history of drug and alcohol use. After getting clean she was able to pass a drug test and breath test. Many of us can say we know someone who has suffered with a drug and alcohol problem, it changes that person, and it can change the way we think of that person. It can also change loved ones around the addict because of having to live with that person. It’s not easy for anyone involved.
“She came into the YWCA with nothing. She had no identification, and only a small purse with some items in it.”
This woman has the ability to be a true inspiration to others. I’m not going to go into depth with her story, because it is not mine to tell, however, she came into the YWCA with nothing. She had no identification, and only a small purse with some items in it. Staff of the YWCA gave her a couple pairs of socks and a small bag of hygiene items. After coming to the YWCA she was able to get connected with a job resource where she gets paid to work in the community at a placement site. She has saved up some money and was able to get into one of the YWCA’s Permanent supportive housing units. This was also made possible by community action partnership in Minot, who came and inspected the apartment and paid for the deposit.
“Her ability to take accountability is remarkable”
This woman would tell you she did not like me at first. I sat at my desk and pulled up her colorful record. I read everything off too her, she stood up and said, “I don’t know why you’re picking on me.” And walked out the door. I was happy to see her the next day asking if she could talk to me. She stated that when I did that it forced her to look at her life and see things she was not proud of and she had been running away from for long enough. Just last week the staff and this woman were talking about the analogy of me serving up the piles of crap she had taken in her life on a silver platter. Allowing her to smell each one to get to the silver lining. Now, three months later, she still deals with obstacles, but with a smile on her face and laughter in her voice. I look forward to seeing her achieve success through obtaining goals that she came up with for herself. Her ability to take accountability is remarkable. It’s the little things, the small steps, the mindset, and the attitude of gratitude that get people through.
“Wow, you mean I get a choice?”
This reminds me of a time in my own life where depression took over. I guess my mother got tired of watching me not wanting to function and she said the most obvious thing, “You know, life is what you make it Gina.” That was over 10 years ago and I still think about it often. It was like a light bulb went off, an epiphany. Wow, you mean I get a choice? I thought I just had to feel that way that those were the cards dealt to me. But, with this new found freedom, I got to make choices about my attitude, about how I was going to feel that day!
This woman, who utilized all of the YWCA’s resources, is a great reminder of how the choices we make can define us … or they can RE-define us into what we CHOOSE.
ve Life Beyond Stress: Learning how to handle stress, so it doesn’t handle you.
Have you got too many things to do and not enough time? Are you feeling overwhelmed or need a way to beat the stress in your life? Join us at our Fall Empowerment Session on how to Live Life Beyond Stress! This session will focus on how time management can help transform your life, the importance of working out your stress and how to do it, and ways you can stop, relax and really savor the moment around you – even if it is stressful!
Tickets Available at the door: $5
Time Management = Life Management by Kathy Aas, Community Relations Manager, Xcel Energy.
Stress Less Living: Working Out Your Stress by Dr. Terry Eckmann, MSU Professor, Teacher Education & Human Performances.
Savor the Moment: Mindfulness by Laura Larson, MS, LPCC, Northland Community Health Center.
GINA'S JOURNAL, ENTRY 4
This week’s journal entry was going to be on bullying, as we have had issues regarding this over the past two weeks. However, a more pressing matter is the young mother of 5 children that came into the shelter homeless. Her children ranged from the ages of 6 months to 9 years-old. This mother has her hands full and arrived at our shelter with little to no support within Minot. The YWCA gave all the children an apple, generously provided by Salvation Army, an application packet for Head Start, and directions to the Lord’s Cupboard Food Pantry. The YWCA offers a community kitchen where women get to cook their own meals and we provide many food items that are donated from different organizations and the community. This is just one of many examples of how the YWCA Minot provides shelter to single mother families. This mother only stayed for the weekend but as I was leaving on that Friday I noticed that her vehicle was full to the brim with stuff, and what appeared to be bedding for the kids. This mother had said that they were sleeping in a park in a different town before driving to Minot and ending up at the YWCA.
This is an amazing reminder that homelessness can look many different ways. Hungry means a lot of different things. Please remember that if organizations such as ours, the DVCC, Men’s Winter Refuge, and the Homeless coalition were not in place, then the community would see a bigger, harsher presence of homelessness in Minot. Our organizations deal with homelessness on a daily basis as well as many other issues. There are reasons people are homeless, many of our clients do not chose that lifestyle.
The Community is welcome to take tours of the YWCA. Due to confidentially tours are by appointment only. If you would like an inside look of our shelter rooms, apartments, and offices, please give me a call.
The YWCA 5th Annual Swing FORE Shelter Golf tournament was held on Monday August 10th in Garrison. We had 54 golfers in this year’s tournament and a celebrity golfer. It was a beautiful day out on the course and the hospitality of Garrison Golf Course was wonderful. Board members volunteered for registration, prize distribution, and contest execution. We had a total of 6 sponsors for this event and many donors, with 2015 turning out to be a more successful year for our golf fundraiser than in 2013 or 2014. The YWCA exists in the Minot community because of the members and businesses that support us. Staff are able to provide case management services to homeless women and children, meeting with them once a week to come up with goals to strive for while they are housed at the YWCA. We have a safe, secure building where women can come to get back on their feet, find jobs, build confidence, and budget their money. We provide warm beds with bedding and pillows, running water for showers, laundry, and cooking. The women can job search and complete applications using our two community computers.The YWCA works very hard to keep the recidivism rate of women experiencing homelessness down. Our goal, with the support that each and every community member’s dollar and time provides, is to give women a chance to succeed and overcome some of the issues that they face. It is our hope that during and after the 60 days at the YWCA shelter the women will be on their way to self-sufficiency as productive members of society.
Thank you to the golfers, sponsors, volunteers, and donors who have helped the YWCA succeed within the Minot community and provide direct services to homeless women and children in Minot! Because of YOU we have served 74 women and children already this year, providing 1898 warm beds for the homeless to lay their heads. We appreciate the support.
Taking home the trophy and winning the 2015 Swing FORE Shelter Golf Tournament is… Debbie Currie, Sheryl Haugeberg, Laurel Weigelt & Liz Wolsky! Well done Ladies!
2nd Place: Cathy Janikowski, Angie Uhlich & Reva Palmer.
3rd Place: Clarissa Westby, Megan Stahl, Sara Leudke & Erika Kelly.
Putting Contest Winner: Sheryl Haugberg
Longest Drive: Reva Palmer
Closest to the Pin: Marlene Remilard
Longest Putt: Brittany Dahl
Thank you to all who participated and were involved in fundraising for the YWCA Minot Homeless Shelter. Bring on next year!