SPOKANE, Wash. - A new apartment complex under construction in northwest Spokane will be provide new homes for children and their parents living on the streets. This is one of Catholic Charities latest housing projects as they work to end homelessness in Spokane.
The non-profit already built a housing complex dedicated to families in Spokane Valley. Pope Francis Haven is where Linda Nelson, her three year old son, 13-month-old twin daughters, and her husband live. It's more than a home though, it's a key to success for the Nelson family.
"I was a runaway as a kid. I was a drug addict for 20 years. For 15 years of my life, almost 20, I lived on the side of the freeway," Nelson said.
That all changed when she found out she was going to be a mom.
"My kids are what got me clean," Nelson said.
She hasn't used in two and a half years. Now, this mother has a safe home with her family and is looking forward to her future. It's a life she's building at Pope Francis Haven. The complex is one of multiple affordable housing solutions built by Catholic Charities, including Donna Hanson Haven and Father Bach Haven in downtown Spokane.
The organization that helped get Nelson and her family off the street continues to expand its reach with 75 units being built near the Covenant of the Holy Names. The new units are designed for families and vary between one, two and three bedrooms. Like the other Catholic Charities homes, tenants pay rent based on their income, never paying more than 30% of what they make. Jonathan Mallahan, Catholic Charities Vice President of Housing, says the non-profit will keep building so people have a safe place to be.
"Providing dignity to people is something that is very meaningful to us as Catholic Charities and at the end of the day, we are there to help where people need it and there's no greater need in Spokane than those who are experiencing homelessness," Mallahan said.
The new family housing is scheduled to open in November. While there is still plenty of work to be done before then, it's not hard to see what kind of impact this project could have. For Nelson, Catholic Charities housing has changed her life.
"To be able to have my babies and my home, that was, it's a big step for me. This is all I've ever wanted in my life is to be a mommy and I have that chance now," Nelson said.
Learn more about how to apply for this new family housing unit here.
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