Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/87/7462187/html/SpokaneCares/index.php:3) in /home/content/87/7462187/html/SpokaneCares/index.php on line 3

Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home/content/87/7462187/html/SpokaneCares/index.php:3) in /home/content/87/7462187/html/SpokaneCares/index.php on line 3
Housing, Homelessness, Low-Income & Poverty | Spokane, WA
Housing, Homeless, Low-Income & Poverty
  • The only difference between most homeless and other people is Opportunity. 

  • There are many homeless people in our community.  Unless you meet an individual or learn a personal story, it is easy to become indifferent or judgmental - both excuses not to care or act. 

    Many men, women and children live in poverty, struggling to acquire the necessities of life, as well as some wants.  Some are fleeing abusive relationships; some have no employment, because they are tainted by a criminal record; some have no shoes; and some have no medical insurance.

  • The media usually overlooks poverty and  hunger throughout most of the year, except for the holiday stories that make it seem as though an annual charitable contribution will solve the problem.   Remember, the poor and hungry have the same needs all 12 months of the year. 

  • What Works to Help the Poor.   Reporter Paul Strand of CBN News reported that many nonprofits and volunteers are working hard to bring an end to poverty, crime and addictions.  These agencies and volunteers are helping to heal abused adults and children, reform criminals, and help addicts become free of the bondage of addiction.  

    Many bureaucratic programs hinder more than help people break out of poverty.  Although big government programs were established to help the poor, much of the money does not actually go to the poor, but to ineffective, wasteful welfare programs. 

    "We spend about $20 Trillion in programs to aid the poor.  Seventy cents of every one of those dollars goes not to the poor, but to those who serve poor people."  (Bob Woodson, Center for Neighborhood Enterprise)

    That has created a massive, self-creating bureaucracy some call the poverty industrial complex.  Its only way of surviving is maintaining a huge poor population dependent on government.  "So, poor people are being injured by the helping hand of government."  (Bob Woodson)

    House of Help/City of Hope project is in one of Washington DC's poorest neighborhoods, where abused women and children are healing, criminals are reforming, and addicts are getting free.  Bishop Shirley Holloway has spent decades, one by one, arming some of society's most hopeless people to become successful and productive.  She says what they need is up-close love and relationships.  The government uses systems.  Systems don't work for people.  Relationship does - one with God, one with yourself, and then one with others." 

    Government programs do not provide tools to beat addictions and poverty.  When government gives away money and food, it allows people to stay home and do nothing, knowing the government will take care of them.  On the other hand, discipline and teaching help people - helping them to stop using and selling drugs, committing suicide and committing crime. 

    Arthur C. Brooks in his book The Conservative Heart, How to build a fairer, happier, and more prosperous America, offers real, lasting and proven successful solutions to poverty.  He says poor people must be given the dignity of work and self-sufficiency.  We need to design policies that don't maintain people in poverty and keep them at the edge basically of subsistence, but give them an opportunity to build their lives through work."   (The House of Help/City of Hope, Reporter Paul Strand, CBN News, The 700 Club, August 27, 2015)

  • People Living in Poverty vs. the Rich.  Sometimes the only thing that stands between a person and success, is opportunity. 

    A midwife at Tokyo’s San-Ikukai Hospital took two newborn baby boys away to be bathed, and then returned them to the wrong mothers.  One baby was born into a family that lived a life of privilege, with first-class educations, and the boy he was switched with is now the president of a real estate company in Japan. 

    The other boy was raised on welfare checks in a 100-square-foot apartment by a single mother after his supposed father died; and today he is an impoverished truck driver.  He told a NBC World News reporter, “When I found out about my true parents, I wish I was brought up by them…. I want them to turn back the clock… When I was handed the photograph of my (real) parents, it made me want to see them.  Every time I see their photograph, for several months tears would well up.” 

    A formula offered by the philosopher John Rawls in “A Theory of Justice,” suggests a hypothetical “veil of ignorance” before birth, in which no one knows his or her position in this life.  Gender, race, social status, parentage or even what generation of history they would occupy are all hidden.  Rawls then asks how we would want a society structured, if we didn’t know where we would land.  For at least one truck driver and one real estate magnate in Japan, Rawls’ question is now hardly hypothetical. 
    (source:  The Telegraph (UK); NBC World News; “Switched at birth, man raised in poverty discovers real identity,” by Eric Schulzke, Deseret News, December 15, 2013)  

  • 16.2% of all people in Spokane County, between 18 and 64 years old, fell below the poverty line in 2013.  (2015 Market Fact Book, Journal of Business)
  • Poverty in America.   The poverty level is up again for the 4th year in a row.  There are now more poor people in America than at any time since the census records started 52 years ago.  More than 46 million Americans were living in poverty in 2010—more than 15% of American households.  Nearly 50 million Americans (16.3% of all households) do not have health insurance.   (NBC Nightly News, September 12, 2010)
Local Organizations
Additional Resources
  • Spokane Community Resource Help:

    • If you need assistance with finding shelter, and are located in City of Spokane, please call Spokane's Homeless Family Coordinated Assessment, before calling the homeless shelters.  The Assessment team will assess your situation, and direct you to the agencies which serve your particular needs.
      Homeless Family Coordinated Assessment 
      (a program of Catholic Charities)
      Family Resource Center Bldg.
      19 W. Pacific
      (Myrtle Woldson Institute building)
      Spokane, WA  99201
      (509) 325-5005 (answered 24/7)
      Walk-in Hours:  Monday - Thursday from 12:30 pm to 5 pm.

      If you need assistance with finding shelter, and are located in the County and outside of the City of Spokane please contact:
      Spokane County Community Services Housing, and Community Development Department
      (an assessment for homelessness and housing)
      (866) 904-9060
      Learn if you are eligible for an application for County-administered programs, connect to  City administered programs, access publicly and privately funded emergency shelters info, and link to Washington Connections website to apply other governmental benefits.

    • 2-1-1

    • Resource Directory

    • Spokane Cares

    • Washington Connection
      State, Federal and Tribal resources.
      You may qualify for assistance with food, medical, cash, employment, education, housing or utilities.

  • DSHS Home and Community Services
    Food, Cash, Medical assistance

    Dept. of Social and Health Services - Washington State
    (509) 323-9400
    (509) 227-2200   North Office
    (509) 227-2500   Central Office, 1313 N. Maple Street
    (509) 227-2400   Southwest Office
    (509) 227-2700   Valley Office, 8517 E. Trent Ave, Ste 202

  • Spokane Homeless Coalition
    A group of representatives from Spokane's homeless agencies
    Join us the 1st Thursday of every month
    at the Gathering House
    733 W. Garland Ave.
    Spokane, WA
    Monthly meeting runs from 9:00 - 10:30 am
    email:  SpokaneHC@googlegroups.com