House of Charity re-launches 24/7 shelter program

SPOKANE, Wash. - Three months ago when funding dried up, the House of Charity had to shutdown a 24/7 program already in its infancy. With the City of Spokane stepping in and throwing a half million dollar lifeline, the program has now re-launched as of Aug. 1.
"I think its definitely needed," said Sunshine Wigen, one of the patrons, "especially for the mentally ill to have somewhere to go."
She says when the shelter had to close its program back in May, a lot of people got left in limbo.
"A lot of people ended up under the bridges," Wigen said. "There was nowhere else to go."
Sam Dompier, Director of the House of Charity says a lot of that money will go to paying employees but also towards utilities, which make up a large amount of the expenses.
"We offer showers, we do laundry 23 hours a day, and we do dishes since we serve breakfast and lunch," Dompier said. "A lot of utilities costs a lot of maintenance and cleaning costs, to keep this place safe."
She says the 3 month period the 24/7 program was shutdown gave the shelter a place to analyze what went right and what can be improved on in the future.
Improvements to be implemented include hiring three new case mangers to help people get back on their feet, increasing the shelter's outside presence for maintenance and upkeep, and hiring security personnel for the increased hours.
According to Dompier, the current funding will keep them open 24 hours a day, until at least the end of the year.
The new hours give patrons the chance to get out of the high temperatures and get a cold drink. It also provides simple services like having an available restroom.