Homelessness is a big problem in Spokane, but there are resources to help families down on their luck and one shelter is taking on a big project to help more people.
For women with children, Union Gospel Mission's Crisis Center for Women and Children is the only emergency shelter in Spokane they can just go to. But right now, they're bursting at the seams in their current location on E. Sprague.
UGM purchased a bigger building at 1515 E. Illinois earlier this year. They've been working on converting the old assisted living home into their new Crisis Center for Women and Children for several months. They hope to have it up and running by the first or second week in November, but they have their work cut out for them.
But for women like Debra Moore, without the shelter, they'd be on the street. Moore relocated from Seattle to Spokane four months ago and immediately found herself homeless.
"I've struggled with drugs and alcohol my whole life," she said.
Moore was sleeping in her van and wasn't sure where to turn.
"I was worried. I'm a 62-year-old grandmother and I'm not street material," she said.
But just when she thought all hope was lost, Moore found the Crisis Center for Women and Children.
"I would be on the street [without the shelter], more than likely. I mean, it's such a hard thing to overcome, homelessness," Moore said.
The center helps between 90-100 women. But recently, they've had to turn people away, something they've never done.
"We are bursting at the seams right now. The number of women with children has significantly increased this year," Diane Hutton, Director of the Crisis Center for Women and Children, said.
The organization says with the new building, they'll be able to accommodate more women and children. They currently don't have a dining room, so moms and their kids eat in their rooms. The new facility will fix that. It will also offer an outdoor space for kids to safely play. There's room for on-site child care, classroom space, private rooms for intake and counseling sessions, and a medical clinic.
"This new facility doesn't even compare to what we've been operating with," Hutton said.
"It's really a loving environment," Moore said of the crisis center. "The staff does everything they can to help women get back on their feet."
UGM is still raising money to pay for the new facility. If you'd like to volunteer your time, make a donation, or sponsor a room, head to their website or email Dave Wall, Director of Community Engagement, at email@example.com.
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