YWCA launches new program for homeless

YWCA Minot is launching a new “Fresh Start” program for homeless women and children.

The program will enable women and children – including boys 12 years and younger – to avail themselves of a 10-minute, hot shower between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays.

Factors such as failing a drug test, personal choice, fears or other environmental influences can prevent women from utilizing a homeless shelter. YWCA Minot created this program to address those situations because a shower for a homeless person is not just a bandage but can be the thin line between dignity and despair.

“Here is a way to give women the dignity and respect that they deserve while offering services and referrals as needed,” said Executive Director Lauren Moore.

One of the main barriers to employment for the homeless population is access to the chance to literally get clean. A simple shower can provide a women with confidence during a job interview, a child with the opportunity to go to school clean, and chance of a better tomorrow for them both, according to YWCA Minot.

In addition to this community outreach, the restroom was made handicapped accessible for clients with physical disabilities that stay in the emergency homeless shelter.

The new project was made possible by Verendrye, First Presbyterian, Sertoma and private donations. YWCA Minot is currently accepting donations of hygiene products, towels and wash cloths to pass along to the clients.