May 17, 2012 in City

A new place for helping kids, families

By The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photoBuy this photo

Target manager Ali Vik takes a picture of a room sponsored by her company in the new Salvation Army facility.
(Full-size photo)

Map of this story's location

Offering help

In the past year, The Salvation Army Spokane counseling and therapy program has provided:

• 925 counseling sessions

• 164 parent education classes

• 47 family reunifications

• 2,981 supervised family visitations

The Salvation Army Spokane on Wednesday opened a newly renovated facility on its campus to provide counseling, family visitation and education under one roof.

The facility, called the Nurturing Center for Children and Families, will centralize counseling and therapy program services that previously were spread out around the campus.

“The goal is to continue to provide services that make a difference in families’ lives, all in one place,” said The Salvation Army’s Capt. Kyle Smith. “They’ve had a lot of hurt and pain in their lives. This is a step toward healing.”

The facility has seven rooms, including rooms for court-approved family visitations for children staying at The Salvation Army’s Sally’s House or in foster care, a kitchen and two offices. The center will provide child counseling and assessments, and offer group and one-on-one parenting instruction.

The renovation was funded predominantly by private donations. Designers from area businesses donated their time, money and furnishings to create colorful rooms, each with its own feel. One is bicycle-themed, for example, and another is fish-themed with bright blue walls. The rooms hold books and toys and sofas for relaxing.

“We want to make it a memorable, special visit,” Smith said. “It’s a fun place. It’s exciting. It’s meant to be a joyful experience.”

The building already existed but wasn’t being used as much other than a storage facility before it was converted.

“It’s been many different things,” Smith said. “But basically it was a warehouse full of junk.”

Renovations to the existing building began in February.

Maj. Doug Tollerud, divisional commander, said a prayer before the unveiling.

“This is a blessing to those who are less fortunate in our community,” he said.

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