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Spokane Homeless Families Coordinated Assessment program.

One of the key housing assistance resources in Spokane Washington is the Catholic Charities administered Homeless Families Coordinated Assessment program. It focuses on people of all backgrounds, ages and religions. The program is funded by donations and is run in partnership with other non-profits and charities, including Spokane’s Community, Housing and Human Services Department.

Housing assistance is offered in many ways. Money or vouchers can be used to house people in a motel while the client works with a case manager on a solution. Many individuals are able to move into a house or apartment and may receive security deposit or rental assistance for the move. Job training and employment programs are available as well to those who qualify.

Details on the Homeless Families Coordinated Assessment

The program is led by the city. Most of the funding comes from the state of Washington and federal government. Applications are accepted and processed by Catholic Charities. Call the main center at (509-325-5005. The focus of the program is on lower income and homeless families with children, including single parents, guardians or grandparents. The main mission of Catholic Charities is to identify homeless families’ needs and get them back on their feet within 30 days.

Several homeless shelters and non-profits agreed to work together to start the program. The agencies have met and coordinated resources in an effort to be most effective. One of the differentiators of the Homeless Families Coordinated Assessment is on speed. Clients will have their needs immediately assessed and be placed on the track that they need to be. This both saves the state and city of Spokane money and it should also hopefully prevent future homelessness in the community. As part of the program, the city and other local non-profit and social service agencies chose Catholic Charities to provide assessment and intake services.

After arriving at church of the Catholic Charity center, clients will be assessed by counselors and specialists who determine which type of housing assistance or rental help is most appropriate.

  • Homeless prevention may be offered for families that are facing eviction. The program can provide financial and rental assistance.
  • Diversion is an option for a family that already has a safe place to stay, such as a friend’s home or family member. However the individual may still need a third party to mediate any problems that might be triggered by this move and relationship.
  • Rapid rehousing is when the Homeless Families Coordinated program will help families find a place to live and providing financial assistance. It can last for up to 30 days, and will also help people get into permanent housing.
  • Temporary housing can be located. This can include emergency shelter and transitional housing.





These resources are offered in partnership with several other agencies, including Volunteers of America’s Alexandria House; Catholic Charities’ St. Margaret’s Shelter; SNAP; and Aston-Bleck apartments; Transitions’ Transitional Living Center and the YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter. A number of conditions need to be met by applicants. It is only for the low income and working poor.

Over the months dozens of families have been supported. In addition, hundreds of other families have been screened by Catholic Charities and the Homeless Families Coordinated Assessment. Many were placed into temporary housing. Others have received rental assistance/homeless prevention or benefited from rapid re-housing. Many of the people benefiting from emergency crisis shelter options include couples with no children, households with fathers, single parents and single-father households.

By Jon McNamara

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