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Donation helps need for area affordable housing - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Donation helps need for area affordable housing

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 Apartmentguide.com named housing in North Dakota's oil patch the most expensive in the country.

They say entry-level apartments in Williston, North Dakota cost more than cities like New York or Los Angeles.

Fargo realtors say costs are also rising here and as those costs rise, so does the number of area homeless who can't afford rent. 

Churches United for the Homeless in Moorhead is at capacity every night with those dreaming of a place to call their own.

Executive Director Jane Alexander shares that desire for her shelter residents and a recent phone call about a $50,000 donation made her think that dream could come true.

"I think I actually probably wept when he told me. I think I did," says Alexander. 

On the other end of the line was St. John Lutheran Church in Fargo. 

"It's just always been a part of our DNA in our congregation to reach out to those who are hungry, those who are hurting, those who are struggling with life," says Pastor Nathan Keith.

The gift will be completed by the congregation in three years as part of the "Community in Christ, Christ in Community Campaign."

"So that was our mission statement, if you will, for our campaign, to be a community of Christ here, so we can strive to be the Christ in our community," says Keith.

The first installment of $10,000 came on Giving Hearts Day, step one to some developing plans.

"One of our visions is to perhaps buy a 24-plex and have part of that be a shelter and part of that be transitional housing," says Alexander.

Alexander says she's seen many who come to reap the wealth of North Dakota's oil and end up at the shelter.

"It's the bright light of prosperity and so it doesn't take much thinking to realize, 'Oh, maybe I'll do better in North Dakota," says Alexander.

But the rising demand contributes to low vacancy rates and the opportunity to turn down those with poor credit and possible criminal history, leaving few, expensive options.

But Alexander will keep wishing...one step closer.

"If a small church like this can help and does so without even being asked, there's real hope for this dream to come true," she says.

If you'd like to help Churches United for the Homeless, Jane Alexander says they are in need of a few items, including beds, couches and anything that can help make a home, size five diapers, boots of all sizes, shower flip flops, infant formula and towels.

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