One of Spokane's historic buildings got a facelift recently, as Catholic Charities of Spokane has remodeled the old Stewart Hardware building at Monroe and Northwest Boulevard and turned into a furniture store to help fund their operations.
Bishop Blase Cupich was on hand at the store Wednesday to bless it at a grand opening ceremony.
"This is just another chapter in the wonderful history of Catholic Charities," Cupich said.
The new store is filled with a lot of nice furniture, most of it new, some gently used. One of Catholic Charities primary missions is taking Spokane's homeless and moving them into small houses and one bedroom apartments. What the charity is able to do is take the money they'll make from selling it and buy several pieces of furniture those people can use.
Cupich knows what sales at the new store will mean to the people Catholic Charities helps. The organization manages more than 1,000 units -- both apartments and houses -- to move people off the street.
"The furniture store now allows Catholic Charities to not only provide a space but an actual home not just a house but a home where furniture already is part of the deal," Cupich said.
"Often times they have no furniture, they don't have a kitchen table to interact, they don't have a bed to sleep on, and so the furniture bank supplies those things to those people in need," store manager Inga Weber explained.
Each year, around 150 families receive housing because of the work Catholic Charities does. Weber couldn't be happier with the location. The store had a very successful soft opening in January.
"For two weeks prior to opening we were in here taking the paper off the windows trying to get things up and ready to go and people were already trying to come in," she said.