Former Minot YWCA shelter resident shares her story of hope

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MINOT N.D. - For the women and children who have sought refuge at Minot's YWCA, their story does not always have a happy ending.

That's why one former shelter resident who is now thriving in her own life is sharing her story.

Valencia Brown and her three grandchildren arrived in the Magic City two years ago.

"We came from a homeless situation in California, sleeping in parks and other homeless shelters where you have to be out all day," said Brown.

Brown says at times she felt as if all hope was lost in her life on the west coast.

"Sometimes I just had the clothes on my back, and you know we all had one outfit in the backpack and you know you feel like, what else is there, what else is going to happen?," said Brown.

Then she found a fresh start in Minot's YWCA.

"They provided a roof over my head. They gave me direction and some guidance, and basically they showed me where everything was and what I can do. I really thank god for this shelter, for giving me my start you know, I am 57 years old and there's not too many starts I can do and this was the best one," said Brown.

Brown continues to live and work in the Minot area. She no longer lives in the shelter--now, she lives in an apartment with her daughter and all of her grandchildren.

"When I look at myself today and I have income, I have all my family together because we have been so spread apart and everything. I got all my grandchildren with me and I'm like granny crazy every day and I love it," said Brown.

Brown's parting advice--if you've lost hope, never give up.

"Baby god bless you, keep your chin up. Don't listen to a man because when they say I got it, normally they don't. You know you do it on your own because when it turns out good, oh my god that feeling when you accomplish something that feels good," said Brown.

Proving that no matter the circumstance, a little hope can go a long way.

The YWCA is still in need of donations like personal hygiene items, clothing and food. For more information on how you can donate, you can visit ywcaminot.org.