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Published October 22 2010

YWCA housing program aided by federal grant

Without a recent $250,000 grant from the Justice Department, the YWCA Cass Clay wouldn’t be able to offer the same amount of transitional housing assistance to victims of domestic abuse, officials said Thursday.

Cases of domestic abuse have risen in the Fargo-Moorhead area during recent years – possibly due to the economic downturn and increased education about resources available for victims, said YWCA Executive Director Erin Prochnow.

On Wednesday night, the YWCA’s emergency shelter housed 74 women and children, even though the shelter has only 65 beds.

Transitional housing and case management is often the next step for those women and children, as they seek independence and stability. Without recent federal grant money, there would be 10 fewer apartments available for them, Prochnow said.

Combating and reducing domestic violence is a priority of the Justice Department under the Obama administration, North Dakota U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon said.

Locally, resources like the $250,000 grant strengthen the YWCA’s ability to offer women and children a way to empower themselves and begin a new life free from domestic violence situations, Purdon said.

The grant will be used to help fund the YWCA’s transitional housing program for three more years.

Purdon joined YWCA officials Thursday to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the YWCA’s 15th annual Week Without Violence this week.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541