‘This is the first time I’ve had my own home’: Family goes from homeless to housed

SPOKANE, Wash. — Homelessness is a crisis affecting many people in Spokane. For those without their own home, it can be overwhelming and scary to figure out options. Family Promise of Spokane hopes to fill that void and get more families housed.

“Go to them. Reach out to them because they will help you out 100%,” said Autumn Nowostawski, who just moved into her first apartment with her family.

She and her husband Mike have been living in shelters with their two-year old daughter for years, but now they all have a place to come home to.

“I’ve been homeless for three years, and this is the first time I’ve had my own home,” she said. “It’s still a shock to me.”

Now, Nowostawski says her daughter is more relaxed and happy. It’s everything she’s hoped for.

“Now that she’s here, she’s a lot calmer,” she said. “It’s nice to be in your own home, being able to relax, watch tv and not have to worry about anything.”

Family Promise helped them fill out the paperwork and find housing at Pine Rocks, but now the organization is also getting assistance so they’re better equipped to serve families.

Comcast recently installed new Wi-Fi lift zones in three of their shelters, to enhance internet accessibility and power for those at the shelter.

“Before Comcast, we had just in-house Wi-Fi, the same you would have in your home or anything like that,” said Chris Harbert, a case manager at Family Promise. “As our need for services grew, the need for a larger, stronger connection was needed.”

Internet was already a necessity for many, but COVID further heightened the need for people to be connected online. Without services like this, many families would get left behind.

“Under normal times, access to the internet is one of the key tools now that people use for finding a house, finding a job, everything,” Harbert said. “During COVID times, it’s even more important.”

Comcast is working to install 80 lift zones throughout Washington to further close the gap on internet inaccessibility and get more people out of homelessness.

If you or someone you know is looking for housing click HERE to learn more about Family Promise’s services.