Here at Catholic Charities Spokane, we are innovating and producing results in a move towards a solution to end homelessness.
So many voices out there say it can never be solved…there is nothing we can do…it’s never-ending.
We think otherwise. We are not OK with throwing our arms up and saying it can’t be done – we won’t give up. Human dignity is a birth right. Our country can send people to the moon, map the human genome and store the Library of Congress on a hard drive – we should certainly be able to find real solutions for those experiencing homelessness!
Our community is hard at work on these real solutions – maybe Spokane can lead the way! Look at the work of Catholic Charities Spokane alone. We operate the House of Charity – a state of the art homeless shelter – the largest homeless shelter between Seattle and Minneapolis that accepts anyone, in any condition. We’ve built 200 units, $30 million worth of brand new permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless, in just the past few years without having to raise a single dime from donors – all with IRS tax credit money. We are funded to build more this year and next year. We have a former convent in the woods where 240 more units for the working poor will open this fall alongside 75 more new units to be built for the working poor and families coming out of crisis and homelessness. We are truly trying to become the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact for our community!
Our goal is to build an apartment for every one of the 350-400 homeless men and women who come for lunch, showers and beds every day at the House of Charity, and we are on track to get there in a few more years. Then the House of Charity won’t be overflowing every night. It can be a place only for the newly homeless or recently homeless who we can move out of the shelter and into housing immediately. That’s the dream.
More importantly we are doing all this to scale, developing and managing our own properties, slashing costs per unit while increasing ROI for the community and for people in need. Our model can be replicated nationally. Many other organizations from around the United States that are hoping to do this in their communities are now coming to visit us to see how we are doing it.
Despite all the recent ‘success’ in bringing hope and stability to the most vulnerable in our community, our work is far from done. We need your help! We need civic leaders, business leaders, individuals – collaborative partners of all types – to progress and make the dream reality.
Catholic Charities Spokane is 105 years old, and we serve all people of all backgrounds and all faith traditions. We are sometimes in the shadow of Seattle, but on this issue, we are moving to be the light source. That’s pretty rare air for us, but we are making it count and changing the game on homelessness in real time and in measurable ways.
It’s not always been an easy path, but nothing worth fighting for ever is.
Thank you for your support,
President & CEO
Catholic Charities Spokane
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