Multiple Programs Serve Community
The Spokane Story
The Spokane Citadel Corps, commanded by Majors Dave and Jean Bowler, offers a host of programs to the Spokane area. Thousands of people every year use the Youth Center facility, which meets the community’s needs with its gym, pool and other resources. The center is the home of day care, latchkey and summer child care programs.
The aquatics program, run by Terra Littell, serves approximately 18,400 swimmers each year. Special swim times are also offered for those with unique needs, such as the senior and handicapped swim programs. The pool is sometimes rented at affordable rates to outside groups.
The youth center gymnasium offers open volleyball, lunch time basketball, volleyball leagues and Tae Kwon Do, a martial arts program.
Not Just Day Care
Directed by Sheryl Barrow, the Day Care serves about 150 children each year. It provides basic day care, preschool, and is a kindergarten for children two and a half to five years of age. All students have art and music lessons as well as learning Bible stories and memory verses.
The facility, certified and licensed through the State of Washington, is accessible through state public assistance. Extra-curricular activities include field trips, audio/videos, bookmobiles, swimming activities, and summer park trips.
Kid’s Club, directed by Debbie LeRoy, is a before and after school program, serving around 2,500 children daily. The program offers drop off and pick-ups at six area schools and provides a game room, along with gym, swimming, and arts and crafts. There is a homework room and a chapel. Kinder Klub is run similarly, with activities geared toward the younger age group. Project Fun is a summer day camp for grades 1-7, with arts and crafts, swimming, and field trips.
The Salvation Army Family Emergency Center is the only shelter in Spokane for homeless families. They are allowed to stay for up to 60 days, and are assigned a case manager who helps each family identify the reasons they became homeless. Medical, social, psychological and spiritual areas are assessed. Then, for instance, a person with a history of substance use and abuse will be referred to the Out Patient Substance Abuse Program. If necessary, the client must follow up with a treatment plan in order to stay at the shelter. All residents must attend on-site parenting, budgeting and homemaking classes.
The center staff is part of the Spokane Shelter Network, a group that meets twice a month to discuss current cases, theory and practices dealing with the homeless. This cooperation enables a family to move from shelter to transitional housing to permanent housing with a continuation of their case plan coming along with them. A city-wide intake form has been developed, to help prevent duplication of records. Teams of agency representatives do outreach, going out in the evenings and finding people who need a warm meal, a blanket, and advice on where to go.
Camp Gifford, owned and operated by The Salvation Army in Spokane, has served a large area in three states for over 73 years. The mission of the staff, headed by Residential Director Jeff Potts, is “to use nature and the great outdoors as a setting to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, teach environmental awareness, encourage pro-social behavior and safely provide opportunity to every camper for fun and adventure.”
During the summer, Camp Gifford provides nine weeks of Community Service Camps to children, as well as one week of Salvation Army Youth (SAY) Camp to the local corps. Nearly 1,000 children each summer are able to attend the camp. The gospel is ministered effectively there, shown by over 250 children giving their lives to the Lord last summer.
Director Joy McManus of the family services depart-ment is committed to helping clients in the name of Jesus Christ. They provided emergency assistance for over 24,000 people in 1996 with an additional 18,000 receiving help during the holidays. The Salvation Army is one of the largest agencies meeting human needs while promoting self sufficiency in Spokane County.
The department has undergone significant change because of welfare reform. Its office is in a part of Spokane with the highest number of welfare recipients in the state. Many clients report they have been cut from various programs, and there has been an average $50-$70 decrease in food stamp dollars.
While Family Services is committed to helping clients in emergency situations, they have now refocused half of their time and resources to their “Transition to Self Sufficiency” program. This program provides support and guidance over a period of two years to those who need to improve their current life circumstances.
Program components include advocacy, spiritual regeneration, budgeting, job training, education, goal setting, and personal growth/relationships. Material assistance available includes help with rent and utilities, food, prescriptions, and transportation, as well as clothing, furniture and household items.