SPOKANE, Wash. — The Washington Department of Commerce awarded funding that will keep the Hope House women's shelter downtown Spokane open longer than recently expected.
Last month, Volunteers of America announced it would be closing the Hope House at the end of January due to lack of funding. That meant a loss of 100 shelter beds in the middle of winter. But now, additional funding awarded from the state will allow it to stay open at least through the winter months.
Commerce just awarded its final Right of Way Initiative funding to the city of Spokane and non-profits. That includes $330,000 that will support the Hope House for the next six months. The department has also committed to $490k for a year to secure eight respite beds for women exiting Camp Hope.
Fawn Schott, VOA President and CEO is relieved they will be able to continue serving women at least through June 30th next year with this funding.
"It's very exciting, we're very grateful. Commerce has been such incredible partners with us over the years," Schott said. "I think the most exciting thing is that we're not at risk of closing the doors when it's 20 degrees outside, and these women really have nowhere else to go."
VOA has also applied for $1.5 million funding to cover its annual operations as a 24/7 women shelter through the competitive request for proposal process (RFP) with the City of Spokane. It's currently waiting to hear if that request has been granted.
In the past year, Hope House provided emergency shelter and housing services to over 600 women. VOA said Hope House also helped 18% of those women transition into stable and permanent housing.
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