FARGO - A program that offers unique housing and support for low-income mothers and children was ready to show off its new Fargo-Moorhead campus on Tuesday, Feb. 6.
Residents moved into Jeremiah Program's new two-story building with room for 20 families on Jan. 2. The accomplishment was commemorated Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening at the new building, 3104 Fiechtner Drive, in Fargo.
Headquartered in Minneapolis, the program with campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota as well as Austin, Texas, offers unique housing to low-income mothers and their children. Jeremiah Program is also now in the early stages of developing offerings in Rochester, Minn., as well as Boston and Brownsville, N.Y.
Its mission also encourages participants to earn or finish a college degree and complete empowerment and life skills training to promote independence and stability.
The program built its first housing complex in Minneapolis in 1998, and it's now marking its 20th anniversary of providing housing and support.
"Our mission is to ensure that all North Dakota residents have a place to call home," said Jolene Kline, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency Executive Director, during the Tuesday event.
The new campus also has an on-site early education center and classrooms.
Jeremiah Program officials say there is a growing need for housing assistance to single mothers in North Dakota, where 23 percent of children live with a single parent, usually with their mother. Currently, more than 2,300 single mothers are living in the Fargo-Moorhead area, most at poverty level and with children under the age of 4, according to Jeremiah Program.
The group's overall mission is to help families move out of poverty, find safe and affordable housing and get the life skills needed to achieve prosperity, something past participant and current volunteer Vanessa Fremling said she found there.
"The program helped me manage simple challenges and gain the courage to go back to school," she said.