2021 is a big year for Volunteers of America Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.
First, we celebrate our 125-year anniversary serving the greater Spokane community. An incredible milestone with programs that have evolved into our current focus of providing housing and shelter for youth, women, veterans and chronically homeless, disabled adults.
In order to serve the increasing need of women in our community we have expanded and built the new Hope House Women’s Shelter with 100 beds and 60 studio apartments scheduled to open April 26.
Hope House opened in Spokane in 1999 when Robert Yates was victimizing women experiencing homelessness on the streets of Spokane. Providence partnered with community members and started the Downtown Women’s Shelter. Two years later, VOA took over the shelter now known as Hope House and purchased the old building at 111 W 3rd Ave. Providence continued its support of women by holding the building in receivership until VOA could acquire funds for the purchase. Fast forward to today and we have outgrown the building and desperately needed to expand to meet community needs.
For 23 years, Hope House has provided refuge and safety for women fleeing domestic violence and danger on the streets. VOA has had the honor to walk beside and support these women as they rebuild their lives. They remind us daily of the strength of the human spirit and the resiliency they each have. This shows with our impressive outcome of nearly 40% of our shelter guests finding permanent housing within the first 90 days.
VOA believes in front door keys. We know what a front door key brings to each of us, we understand the safety and security keys provide and the space it gives to dream and attain goals. This project is especially exciting to VOA and we continue our goal to provide front door keys until every person in our community gets to hold their own key.
None of this would be possible without the love and compassion of our community. VOA is grateful for each of you and your contribution for making home a reality for so many women. Please join us for our grand opening celebration on April 26 to see the front doors you helped build.
Fawn Schott is president and chief executive officer of Volunteers of America Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.
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