SPOKANE, Wash. — There are plenty of coffee and pastry shops in the Inland Northwest, but Christ Kitchen in Spokane has its own niche in the market.
The store has a wide selection of gifts, pastries, desserts, and coffee, but they also help women who are going through tough times. They help them get back on their feet by teaching them job training skills such as baking, cooking, gardening, and even coffee making. The women learn trades and are then able to go on and work for different companies in the area. Christ Kitchen CEO Kim Kelly said they provide a much-needed service to women that are struggling to make it out of tough situations.
"We only have to look out the window to see the devastation that's in our community with the homelessness and the needs," Kelly said.
The ministry has been serving the community for more than 20 years and uses faith-based principles to nurture and guide women who enter into the program.
"They come here hopeless and broken," Kelly said. "Listening to what the world has told them that their value is and when they come here, they're met with a community of women who have walked the road that they've walked, and now know the truth of their value."
Many women go on to work in restaurants, coffee shops, or even have their own gardens but some, like Allisha Corley who went through the program four years ago, decide to stick around.
"I came through the doors four years ago, I am a recovering heroin addict, I spend a majority of my adult life addicted to substances living homeless here in Spokane," Corley said. "I was just living. It was a miserable life, to be honest. So I know what that change is like, to walk through the doors and to have hope and to feel loved and to feel valued. And to be able to hold your head high, you know, knowing that your life matters."
The ministry strives to get women away from unhealthy relationships, addiction, and off public assistance.
"When I first came here, there was a lady that I looked up to and I looked at her and thought, man, if she can do it if she can recover and be in the position that she's in now then maybe I can do it," Corley said. "So for me, I want to be that for somebody else. I want them to be able to look at me and say, if she can do it, then I can do it."
If you or someone you know is interested in joining the program, all you have to do is walk through the front doors.
"The women that come here, as I said, they change their lives here and they become productive citizens that are now contributing to the community that we have here," Kelly said. "They are stronger and healthier and they're making Spokane stronger."
Christ Kitchen is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. It is also open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.