House of Charity to close its 24/7 sheltering

House of Charity to close its 24/7 sheltering

The House of Charity will stop offering its 24/7 sheltering at the end of this month, leaving more than 200 homeless people in Spokane to find a different place to sleep at night.

Catholic Charities will soon be ending the program, saying it doesn’t have the money to keep it open.

For almost 60 years, House of Charity has been a place for homeless men to sleep at night.

“More than I care to admit, yeah I’ve been here more than I want to,” said Bob Auxier, who is currently homeless.

Bob says it’s crowded at the House of Charity, but he’s thankful for a place to be.

“They’ve done an amazing job of trying to figure out what’s going on, the bathrooms went down and the overpopulation and the attitudes and it got pretty rough,” he said, “but they’re doing a great job of maintaining and holding it together. But it takes money to do these things.”

Money that Catholic Charities says it doesn’t have enough of.

In November, the organization announced it would open its doors to women, couples, and pets, 24 hours a day. That’s in addition to the 109 beds for homeless men.

The City of Spokane kicked in upwards of $1 million for the 24/7 sheltering. It costs about $1.5 million to run the 24/7 model, and there’s still a $500,000 gap in funding.

We asked Bob and others about what will happen to the 200 people the House of Charity expects to turn away each night.

“I think a large percentage of them might get some motivation to get what they need in life to move up is what I’m hoping for,” Auxier said.

“I think it will make it worse because vandalism, trespassing, loitering, it’s all going to be a mess,” said Frank Suckow, who also is staying at the House of Charity.

These men hope they’ll be back on their feet soon, but wonder what everyone else will do.

“They have no other options, but they hit the pavement out here and some places [that] you just can’t be,” he said.

The City of Spokane wasn’t the only agency that contributed money to the program. Downtown Spokane Partnership and area businesses contributed as well.

The City of Spokane says there are other places people can go such as the Salvation Army or the Union Gospel Mission. There are also resources like Community Court at the downtown library, where there are resources to address many of the underlying issues of homelessness.

More information will be available after a press conference hosted by Catholic Charities on Thursday.