Eastern Washington Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Qualified low income families in eastern Washington and Spokane can turn to the Catholic Charities for assistance and advice. Regardless of your religion, the non-profit and its partner churches will do what they can to help the poor and less fortunate meet their basic needs. Vouchers for food, rent and utility bill assistance, housing, and more is available. The elderly in the region can also get support from the charity. Most of the aid is disbursed from their Family Serve Centers and partner non-profit groups in eastern Washington State.

Residents making a visit and asking for short term emergency assistance is in many cases the first contact clients have with Catholic Charities and the services they offer. While it is not always possible, the goal is to support all from Spokane County and other areas who come to their door. Help is offered for those income qualified families and individuals that are working for personal and economic self-reliance. Catholic Charities will attempt to assist all applicants, whether they are eligible or ineligible, with the emergency situation they face and by providing referrals to other resources or financial counseling as appropriate.

The churches that are part of Catholic Charities assist in a crisis. Basic needs are addressed such as prescription medications vouchers and food. Housing type needs can be reviewed as well, and this may be partial payments for rent or energy bills.

While not everyone will in fact qualify and the funding levels are limited, the staff and volunteers that are part of the organization are aware of other services that are available both within the agency and the community at large. They are also knowledgeable about researching new resources that can benefit those in need. The target population are struggling families in crisis who reside in the geographical area of the eastern Washington in counties such as Spokane, Okanogan, and Stevens.

Caseworkers will offer an intake and application process. They will then normally prioritize and assist potential clients according to their need and resources that are available. They will review the immediacy of need and the families personal situation. For examples, whether you agree or not, families with young children, the homeless, expectant mothers and individuals lacking immediate necessities are all priorities for financial and other support.





When someone seek help, experience shows that many families are facing multiple hardships and problems. Although one problem may be presented to the staff from Catholic Charities, and it is generally financial in nature, the case manager needs to be able to assess other possible needs of the applicant or family. Appointments are made by the intake staff and referred to the appropriate community resource or caseworker.

The Food Pantry from Catholic Charities has been serving many parts of eastern Washington for multiple years. The pantry is sustained by contributions from local donors, individuals, and food drives. Please contribute if you can, as thousands of families from Spokane, Lincoln, and other counties turn to it.

Immigrants can get assistance. The Catholic Charities Immigration and Naturalization program provides assistance in the process involving extensions of stay, family reunification applications, naturalization certificates, replacement of permanent residence cards, and access to work permits. If qualified, staff can help people apply for permanent residence applications. All assistance is approved and registered with the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals.

Seniors in the Spokane area can get help from Volunteer Chore Services. This will assist them household tasks. In addition, churches may now delivers a monthly grocery bag of food items to local seniors who are shut-in and have no other way to shop for or access food. There is also a senior nutrition site that serves a low cost, sometimes free hot nutritional lunch meal daily providing 1/3 of the USDA recommended essential minerals and vitamins that are needed in their diets.

Low income housing from Catholic Charities of Spokane Washington is available from over 10 apartment communities. It is available for persons with disabilities, the elderly, families and single parents with their children. The low and affordable housing serves seven counties including Spokane, Franklin, Stevens, Whitman, Walla Walla, Adams, and Asoltin.





Some examples of the other Programs and Social Services available include low income, affordable housing, After-School Programs, Clothing Banks, English Classes, Food Stamps/Medicaid Applications, Residential Program for Mothers and Children, and several others. They also offer aid for seniors and other groups, such as veterans. These can be Meals on Wheels Program, Immigration Services, Senior Services, and a Veteran's House. More details are below.

  • Transportation - Catholic Charities and its staff or volunteers provide rides for low income individuals. In addition, the Gold Line provides general population bus rides into Spokane Washington.
  • Rural Resources programs provides free gas vouchers for low income individuals.
  • Food Banks in eastern Washington provide fresh produce, free groceries and education on food.
  • Prescriptions for Life addresses issues relating to prescription drugs.
  • The community outreach coordinator is a resources and is focusing on job training, avenues of mentorship, and volunteerism.
  • The Kids Smart Sack Food Program is available at the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center in Spokane. It will provide free meals, snacks, and food to children that are enrolled in childcare. They will receive healthy meals for several weeks.
  • The Back Pack for Kids Program, which operates from the Asotin County Food Bank in Clarkston Washington also gives children free weekend meals from the local pantry.

The locations in eastern Washington are as follows.

Spokane County, 12 E 5th Ave, Spokane, WA, 509-455-4963
Okanogan County, 509-442-4041
Lincoln County, 509-725-1761
Pend Oreille County, 509-725-1761
Stevens County, 509-684-5671
Ferry County, dial 509-722-4592
Columbia County, telephone number is 509-832-2943
Walla Walla, 509-525-0572



By Jon McNamara

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