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Grant boosts center for women, children

Union Gospel Mission has received a $700,000 grant to help complete construction of its new Coeur d’Alene Center for Women and Children.

The grant comes from the Affordable Housing Program, a national bank-supported effort to create affordable housing for low-income or homeless families. The AHP was created in 1989 as a result of reforms imposed by Congress on savings and loans.

Union Gospel Mission’s new 41-unit center is expected to open for occupants in September. The total cost of buying the land and constructing the three-story center is $8 million, according to Dave Wall, marketing director for Union Gospel Mission.

The Spokane-based nonprofit has planned a North Idaho women’s recovery center for a number of years. Two years ago it purchased nearly three acres at 196 W. Haycraft Road. It began work on the building last year.

Wall said Union Gospel Mission had applied twice before for an AHP grant but didn’t make the cut either time.

Those initial applications were for more than $1 million. This time the application sought $700,000 and was approved. “So we hit the right number this time around,” he said.

Wall said North Idaho groups invited Union Gospel Mission to offer services similar to those it provides at its three Spokane centers.

Once opened, the Coeur d’Alene center will have a small emergency building for women, next to the main building. When women enter the recovery program they’re asked to commit to the nonprofit’s 18-month program, Wall said.

The building is designed for up to 100 residents. It will have a staff of 15.

Other sources of money for the project are a $1.7 million tax-credit loan from U.S. Bank; $25,000 from the Women’s Gift Alliance; and $4 million from Union Gospel Mission’s Foundation, Wall said.

The project architect is Architects West of Coeur d’Alene. Leone and Keeble of Spokane is the general contractor.

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