SPOKANE - A simple question by a little girl prompted the Salvation Army in Spokane to open Sally's House, a shelter that temporarily cares for children while case workers find a relative or foster family to care for them.
The girl had had been sitting and waiting for 12 hours in a state office while a case worker tried to find someone to care for her. That?s when the girl asked that one simple question, "Doesn't anybody want me?"
The Salvation Army said 'yes' and in 2002 they opened Sally?s House, the only emergency foster care program in Spokane. Since then they?ve cared for more than 1,800 kids who have been pulled from drug houses, abusive situations or homelessness.
Salvation Army Social Services Director Kim Petrusek says Sally's House is the only facility like it in the state.
"They're clean, safe and have their own bed" Petrusek said. "Some have never had a bed before. Here they're loved and cared for."
Salvation Army Captain Kyle Smith said the facility is a critical part of keeping abused and neglected kids safe.
"One of the stories that illustrates how important this place is, there was a two year old that' was found on the streets nobody could work out where she came from," Smith said. "Police could not find her parents. Her parents did not report her missing so she was here. It took two days to find her parents but she was brought here and she felt loved and cared for."
While at Sally's House, children receive new clean clothes, food, tutoring and instruction in life and social skills. The facility also coordinates with area school districts to keep the kids in their own schools.
The children stay as long as it takes to find a foster home, approved relative or their own situation at home has been corrected.
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