Families in need of help in Spokane County and that are working towards self-sufficiency can turn to Spokane Valley Partners for assistance. The organization is a non-profit that administers various services for income qualified clients in a limited number of zip codes in the county. There are also resources for senior citizens, the disabled, as well as single parents in the region.
The main services are below, but each assistance program is limited by resources. However, even if Spokane Valley Partners can't assist, then they refer people to other charities in Washington.
Emergency assistance is available from SVP by appointment. Once this is made, any support can be provided on a walk-in basis. Staff from the organization will help people access food if they are faced with hunger. The pantry is only open Wednesday and Thursday. Or there may be funds for rent or paying utility bills, and this may even include water costs. All of the monetary aid is limited.
Staff also provide referrals in the event they can't help, but if there is still a crisis situation to deal with. Family Development staff from Spokane Valley Partners also work with the client to assess the situation. This will include an interview to gather information, and based on the results of that, financial aid is offered to resolve the crisis. After that occurs, clients can then be referred to a combination of financial assistance programs within Spokane County or there can be linkage to agencies that can provide long-term support.
The Spokane Valley Partners Displaced Homemaker Program is for people who are unemployed or underemployed and that are having difficulty with getting a job or moving ahead. Many of the clients of these service are long term unemployed or they depend on public assistance. Other clients tend to be single parents or maybe even survivors of domestic violence.
The goal of this SVP program is to get lower income families or individuals back on the road to economic independence and end the cycle of public entitlements. This is done by providing the career counseling, job search assistance, employment training, and support services they need to obtain employment. Workshops in Spokane County include resume preparation, tips on online job searching techniques, Basic computer skills training, and more. The goal of the program is to help people become employed and self-supporting.
Low income families facing hunger can turn to the Food Pantry. This is a resource that offers clients emergency groceries to help tackle hunger in the community. The Pantry is unique in that it is a client choice center. Also, it is also uncommon for the community as it is a center where customers can be served regardless of their age, race, religion, or where they live within Spokane County.
Partial funding for the Spokane Valley Partners food bank is provided through USDA grants as well as donations. Another key partner is the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance network. However, all resources are limited, and the type of groceries passed out will also vary. Note that the Food Pantry is dependent as well on donations that the agency receives from many local sources, both government resources and private charities, such as local churches and food drives.
Families that meet income conditions are eligible for a free Food Box up to once a month. The contents may be fresh produce, canned goods, dairy products, bread, and frozen meat. While the food in each and every box varies, generally there is enough for a few nutritionally balanced meals. Of course a key criteria is the size of the family.
For the elderly in Spokane County, a special Senior Citizen Box is also available. This will have contents to meet their special dietary needs. There are also items for individuals with medical conditions or a disability, if they require special diets. To get a special box of food, a Doctor's statement of the medical condition is required.
Other basic needs, such as clothing for work or school or even items such as Car Seats or furniture may be passed out. Spokane Valley Partner accepts both in-Agency and referrals from other locations in the community. These programs are made possible by an annual grant as well as donations.
Spokane Valley Partner or local partners receive grants from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the state. The money is used by Family Development staff to provide various forms of rent and housing assistance to homeless or near homeless individuals and their families. This is in addition to the resources above.
As part of this process, an advocate works with the applicant to determine their exact housing needs. Whether it is a short term shelter or long term, permanent solution, all options are explored. The process will allow Spokane Valley Partner to decide how the needs can be best addressed to provide permanent, safe and affordable options.
Once the resident enters the appropriate program to address their needs, a case manager then works collaboratively with other non-profit community agencies. This is done to ensure that customers who have been provided with some form of financial assistance can secure a low income apartment.
Housing needs can also often require a need for utility or heating bill help. One main resource is the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance, and this federal program provides grants for energy bill assistance to eligible customers across Spokane. Funding is limited, is offered on a first come and served basis and is available from mid December to late June. Families who have natural gas, heating oil or another heating source should call their vendor to make payment arrangements as well.
Spokane Valley Partner Transitional Housing and shelter provide lodging. At the same time, clients will be enrolled into a step-by-step path to achieve long term independence. Some of these resources from SVP, such as transitional housing, will require guests to pay up to 30% of their income for their monthly rent or other bills. They also need to agree to, and follow, an individualized plan, which leads to employment, education and self-determination.
Spokane Valley Partners has limited funds, and all support is by appointment only. They can dial 509-927-1153.
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