'Haven' for Spokane homeless opens Wednesday




Posted on January 23, 2013 at 7:47 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 6:31 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A new $6.5 million facility used to help people transition out of homelessness will be dedicated Wednesday.

Catholic Charities Spokane developed the Father Bach Haven to give a home to the population of people who have been homeless three or more times over the last year, and might need extra help.

Already half of the building’s 50 units are occupied, and there are more than 80 applicants hoping to take the rest.

Each room comes with built-in furniture and all the amenities.

Catholic Charities used state funding to build the facility in Downtown Spokane. It sits next door to the House of Charity and it’s within walking distance of other services the homeless can use to get back on their feet.

Catholic Charities’ development director says the building shows Spokane is addressing homelessness.

“This is just one way that we’ve changed the tide. [We’re] creating a beautiful community of residents who will live here together and who will provide social services with partnering agencies, and the ability to really help stabilize these individuals,” Anne Marie Byrd, the development director, said.

Each resident must use 30 percent of their monthly income to pay for rent, which ranges from $50 to $250.

Ian Alspaugh came into the facility with just a backpack. He says his new home has everything he could need, right down to the napkins. Alspaugh now has new hope for his life and the person he wants to become.

“I would say the changes have been remarkable. I’m staring to feel happy again. I’m starting to get back my smile and my color. I can’t say enough to thank these people. It’s been really great,” Alspaugh said.

Management does not anticipate much turnover because they believe, in most cases, this is the nicest home the tenants have ever lived in.