New hope and a new home at Spokane apartment complex

Tracy Blum is one of more than 1,000 people homeless in Spokane. She's been searching for a stable home since she was 13 years old. Now, the search is over. Blum applied to become a tenant at the Donna Hanson Haven, in Spokane. She got the good news on Thursday. By Friday, she was touring the building on West 2nd Avenue. 

"I got to choose my apartment. I got to sign my lease yesterday. I'm really excited," Blum said. 

Blum's second floor unit is one of 51 in the Donna Hanson Haven. During a public tour Friday, Catholic Charities Spokane shared their vision of a day when no one is left out in the cold with no place to go. 

"We can do that by providing apartments for people who are homeless and surrounding them with services so they can stay housed and again become part of society," Catholic Charities Spokane Executive Vice President of Stabilization and Housing Monique Kolonko said. 

Kolonko said that's what the building's namesake Donna Hanson would want. Hason served as the executive director for Catholic Charities for 25 years. 

"She is the person who started saying, would I want my mom to live in one of our units? I do ask myself that question every day," Kolonko said. 

The 51 units, 25 studios and 25 one bedroom apartments, along with one staff unit, will be fully furnished with donated items. Tenants will have access to enhanced supportive services with round the clock case managers and opportunities for trade development. The facility also includes a computer center, community room and kitchen and on-site laundry.

Tenants get to move in on December 4. There are still some units available that can be applied for by contacting SNAP. 

Tax credits and the Washington State Housing Trust Fund went toward the cost of building Donna Hanson Haven. Housing vouchers will help cover rent for tenants. 

For Blum, this marks a new beginning. 

"My grandkids and my fiance's grandkids will be able to come visit us and it's a clean and safe place. So, I'm really happy about that," Blum said. 

Kolonko said this is the next step in the charity's larger effort to solve homelessness in Spokane. 

"All people need love and respect. All people should be treated with humanity and with dignity. In our view, treating someone with dignity, the very first step, is giving them hope," Kolonko said. 



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