New Catholic Charities complex opens for Spokane’s homeless
SPOKANE, Wash. — There are more than 500,000 people living on the streets in the U.S. That includes hundreds here in the Inland Northwest, and while battling homelessness is not an easy process, one local organization is working to bridge that gap.
People having a place of their own, a bed to sleep in at night; these are the things so many take for granted. For the people living in the new Beatriz and Ed Schweitzer Haven building, it’s a dream come true.
“A lot of people, they can’t do anything about their homelessness. They have no resources,” said Daniel Hall, who has been homeless for ten years.
Hall knows firsthand, life isn’t always easy. He says it all started when he got divorced. He was kicked off of his military benefits shortly after.
“I lived under these bridges for ten years. It was bad,” he said.
Hall isn’t alone in this. President and CEO of Catholic Charities Rob McCann says there are hundreds of people living on the streets of Spokane.
“The folks that moved into this building on average have been homeless 11.2 years before they moved into this building,” McCann said.
He says the building has been a life saver for people living without a home. Today, he along with other community members, celebrated its official grand opening.
“What we have here is fifty units for the chronically homeless men and women here in our downtown area,” McCann said.
The Beatriz and Ed Schweitzer Haven is just one of 12 buildings owned by Catholic Charities built specifically for those without a roof over their heads.
“We’re trying to laser focus on that issue of chronic street homelessness in our community. Get those people off the street, out from under bridges, out of shelters and into permanent forever homes,” he said. “We stabilize people, get them mental health and substance abuse treatment, case management, job counseling to help them get employed.”
A forever home and a fresh start. Something Hall never thought would be possible.
“I just feel so blessed to be here,” Hall said.
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