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Catholic Charities constructing 73 family unit Gonzaga Family Haven property

Courtesy of Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington

Many of the housing options for people who are homeless in Spokane are aimed at people who live alone. Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington on Wednesday highlighted its new project for families struggling to maintain homes.

Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington laid the cornerstone of their newest property, a supported community for families struggling with homelessness.

Sarah Yerden, the director of marketing for Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington said the complex will provide far more than basic housing for its residents. She said the facility, named Gonzaga Family Haven, will connect families to mental health, food services and drug and alcohol treatment.

“Our goal here is to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty," Yerden said, "which takes root in adverse child experiences like lack of stable housing, food insecurity, undertreated behavioral health conditions. Gonzaga Family Haven is going to address all of these obstacles, solving them for families living on site so children can grow up in safety and stability.”

Yerden said this property is unique in that after it is completed, both Gonzaga University and Gonzaga Prep students will volunteer there. She said they will help with educational programs that will be available for residents, or volunteer in other ways such as assisting with food programs.

She said there will also be a pathway for children living there to eventually receive scholarships to the two schools.

The property is one of 17 affordable housing projects Catholic Charities has completed since 2012. It’s slated to be completed this fall and will have space for 73 families and is located near Gonzaga Prep. It will have a medical clinic, childcare, a dog park as well as classroom and gathering spaces for its residents.