Vets Garage calls on community for support
SPOKANE, Wash. — There was a time, not long ago, that the future of Vets Garage was uncertain. Last year, the nonprofit was renting a shop near downtown Spokane, searching for a new place to settle.
The group found a place to rent in Hillyard, but with the change came some challenges.
Dave Bond is a Marine Corp veteran who teaches and relies on Vets Garage. He said he enjoys working with other veterans on special projects.
“We kind of knew each other. We understand each other’s quirks,” Bond said. “There’s a lot more discipline and people are here to seriously learn,” Bond said.
The nonprofit offers classes in integrated health, like creative writing and Tai Chi. There are woodworking courses and other chances to learn how to use the computer numeric controlled router machine (CNC).
They’re not just learning new trades at Vets Garage, they’re learning how to live after surviving war. Director Rich Baker said Vets Garage is a safe space to figure out how to move forward.
“Part of what Vets Garage is about is kind of reintegrating the veterans into civilian life, to try and make sure they have something to do while processing through PTSD and also to kind of give them a trade,” Baker said.
Even though the nonprofit’s space looks different than it did a year ago, the goal remains the same.
“There’s something out there for them who cares about knowing what they go through,” Baker said.
But to do that work, they have to first pay the rent.
Vets Garage didn’t have that bill at their last rental, but they do now. That’s why they’ve started a paid membership program. That’s open to both veterans and civilians. Vets pay $30 per month to use the space and everyone else pays $40.
But, many of their past clients don’t know they’ve moved or have a hard time getting to Hillyard. That’s why Baker said they need support now, more than ever.
“This is a program for us as veterans. The vets need to step up because if they don’t, the doors are going to close,” Baker said.
Nonprofit leaders are doing all they can to make sure that doesn’t happen. They encourage anyone who wants to get involve to join their membership program, donate time, money or supplies.
Vets Garage is now located at 3915 E Francis Avenue, Suite C10. Call 509-919-3176 for more information or visit www.vetsgaragespokane.com.
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