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Catholic Charities pushes widespread ad campaign for homelessness

SPOKANE, Wash. - Catholic Charities is making its voice heard ahead of next week's election in Spokane. 

The non-profit's advertisement (pictured) is not only on 4 News Now's website, but other news platforms in town.

However, it wasn't some plan to sneak it in right before the election - World Homeless Day was on October 10.

Catholic Charities said that is the original reason for the ad, which leads to an 11-page document about homelessness in Spokane.

They said the ad just couldn't get placed in time, and 4 News Now's Sales Department confirmed that talks for the ad did in fact start in September.

But regardless of when it was placed, Catholic Charities said their message remains the same.

"We want to make sure when someone is struggling we don't hold them to a standard that they can't achieve," VP of Housing at Catholic Charities Jonathan Mallahan said. "So if you don't have a place to stay, and you're being arrested because you're sleeping on the street then that's not effective."

Mallahan said it's on the whole community to really make a difference, but he plans on seeing Catholic Charities do even more, as well.

Mayoral candidate Ben Stuckart has praised Catholic Charities for their work throughout his run for mayor in Spokane, and echoed their message after this ad was released.

"I think they probably felt under attack this election season, so I don't find it surprising that they're going to come out and talk about things like human dignity," Stuckart said.

Stuckart believes his opponent has neglected the aspect of human dignity.

"If she's talking about shutting them down or enabling people when they're just trying to provide for their basic needs, I would feel offended too," Stuckart said. "I have felt offended by a lot of what's come out of my opponents mouth."

4 News Now reached out to the Woodward for an interview, but her campaign told us she was not available for comment tonight.

Woodward has made a point of pushing for more accountability among the homeless throughout her campaign; Catholic Charities believes accountability is what makes their program work.

"We do believe that accountability is an absolute necessity in programming," Mallahan said. "That's part of social teaching that people have not only a right to housing, but they have a responsibility to themselves and their community to be a good neighbor."



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