An exclusive look into the new Hope House shelter

SPOKANE, Wash. – The new Hope House shelter is a safe space for women.

The current one had to be moved to another building to help more women during the pandemic. However, because of social distancing guidelines, it still wasn’t enough.

Over the course of the pandemic, Volunteers of America, which runs the Hope House Shelter, had to turn away an average of 10 to 15 women a night.

“Women in our community still need a safe place to sleep at night,” said Rae-Lynn Barden, the marketing and communications director with the VOA.

But, with a new building opening up on Third Avenue, they’ll be able to help even more women.

Barden says of the people they help, 60 percent are women getting out of domestic violence situations.

“They need that extra support to help them remove themselves from that situation and get on their feet,” she told 4 News Now.

The new shelter will have 100 beds on the first floor. There will be respite beds, too, for those who are in need of a place to stay after medical care.

The first floor will also have a kitchen and dining room for people to get their three meals a day, as well as showers.

On the next three floors, there will be 60 apartment units for men and women and a common room for them to enjoy with others staying in the apartments.

Barden says those looking to stay in those apartments will be paying 30 percent of their income. The apartments come with a bathroom and kitchen, and renters can stay as long as they need.

“A lot of shelter guests are there at most 90 days and then we get them into housing. Our apartments, those folks can stay with us as long as they need. Sometimes they move on, sometimes they’re with us for the rest of their life and we’re there to take care of them,” Barden said.

Along with all that, there will also be help for people staying there. Barden says they have case managers to help them access mental and medical health needs. They also have programs to help people get back on their feet.

The goal is to help people get stable again, and the new Hope House is meant to be that new beginning for them.

“Our envision for this shelter was to make it feel warm and welcoming right away. We really concentrated on art and light. It’s a different type of shelter to where we focus on more of that home feel,” Barden said.

The grand opening for the new Hope House will be on April 26th. Then, on April 27th, people can start moving in.

As the Hope House gets closer to opening day, it is in need of some items.

Barden says they’ll always take food donations for their shelters. They’re also in need of some household items, such as kitchenware and bathroom items.

You can drop them off at 525 W Second Avenue Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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