SPOKANE, Wash. — Catholic Charities is dedicating 75 new units of permanent affordable housing for chronically homeless individuals and families in Spokane.
On Thursday morning, Catholic Charities celebrated the grand opening of The Sisters Haven. The new apartment complex is located in West Spokane, on the forested grounds on the former Holy Names convent, and provides residents with access to supportive services through the Catholic Charities Housing Social Services program and to an early childcare center.
The Sisters Haven includes 23 three-bedroom, 36 two-bedroom and 16 one-bedroom units. Every unit includes beds for each resident, a washer and dryer and a dishwasher. Residents can request other furniture items through Catholic Charities’ Furniture Bank.
“I am very excited that we can offer families the chance to get back on their feet in such a beautiful location,” said Catholic Charities Eastern Washington President & CEO Rob McCann.
Catholic Charities hopes the complex will help solve homelessness in the Spokane area in a few ways. The organization hopes to give families keys to a home, along with direct access to supportive resources.
An on-site case manager coordinates the supportive services, which include childcare, counseling and social activities.
"Housing is a critical piece of it. But also to provide wrap around services of health care behavioral health support, education, hopefully jos training so that people really have a way to move on with their lives and provide for their families," said Sister Donna Markham, President of Catholic Charities USA.
The Sisters Haven was funded through $14.3 million in tax credits rather than donated funds. It is named in gratitude to the legions of women religious who have dedicated vocations of care and prayer to the people of Eastern Washington.
Local groups have donated hygiene and cosmetic items, along with a few personal touches to make the apartments feel like home.
"You have done what a lot of people say is not possible. And it's done in a way that is sensitive, that helps people claim their dignity. And the places are so respectful and beautiful," said Sister Markham.