SPOKANE, Wash. – A new shelter for homeless women and children is set to soon open in Spokane.
The Union Gospel mission is not able to give those women and children the tools they need to get back on their feet at the current location.
The current shelter is the only emergency crisis shelter for women and children in Spokane. However, the space and environment is becoming a challenge for staff and residents as more women show up.
The new shelter is expected to provide more than just four walls.
Brandi Weber lives at the Union Gospel Mission Crisis Shelter for Women and Children.
“I ended up here because of drug use and my family kind of gave me the tough love story,” said Weber.
UGM has been Weber’s way of getting clean, but the facility lacks the space to make the transition even livable. Weber lives in a room with seven other women.
“It’s tough. It’s really tough. There’s eight of us in here. We share one bathroom, one shower. It’s quite challenging,” said Weber.
Faculty has seen a spike in homeless women coming from all over Washington seeking help.
“A lot of women are fleeing domestic violence in their homes,” said shelter director Dianne Hutton.
The current shelter even lacks the most basic needs, like a place to eat.
“We stand outside waiting for our meals. It’s cold and its wet and it’s rainy,” said Weber.
For those with children, the environment is also a concern.
“They have nowhere else to go,” said Hutton. “Across the street is not really appropriate with the topless baristas.”
Come December 1, UGM’s mission will be fulfilled. The new crisis shelter will have 34 rooms; that’s more than double the number of rooms the current shelter has. The new center will also provide childcare, learning and vocational center and a big dining hall.
“We want to offer these women dignity and we want to offer them a helping hand into a more permanent situation,” said Hutton.
Sometimes the simplest things like a place to sleep, a place to eat and a place to grow up can make a world of different.