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New Gonzaga Family Haven housing complex to include childcare center for low-income families

Courtesy of Catholic Charities.
Gonzaga Family Haven will open March 30. It will include several wrap around services, including a childcare center. The center's priority is the housing center's residents, but any remaining childcare spots are open to low-income families in the community.

A new childcare facility designed for families experiencing homelessness and other barriers is opening next month. The childcare center will be one of several wraparound services available to residents of the new Gonzaga Family Haven housing complex.

Families across the country are struggling to find affordable childcare programs. State subsidies are available for working parents, but many of Washington’s neediest families don’t qualify because of struggles with homelessness and unemployment.

Bobbi Woodral is the district director of Head Start childcare programs for the Community Colleges of Spokane, which is collaborating with Catholic Charities to operate a new center. She says Gonzaga Family Haven program will meet that need.

"We're kind of fitting in that in-between bracket where we're bridging that gap between being able to afford childcare on your own, and not quite being ready to go out and get a job, and really qualify for those subsidies,” she said.

Woodral says her program has already found success at childcare partnership with Catholic Charities, which provides care for children who’s parents are going through drug treatment.

The program will serve 64 children between six months and five years old. Families at the new Gonzaga Family Haven housing complex are given first priority, but any remaining spots are available to low-income families in the community.

The Gonzaga Family Haven complex is designed to address intergenerational poverty, and Woodral says the childcare center will assist in that mission by giving parents a safe place to leave their children while they access services.

Gonzaga Family Haven, which will house more than 70 families, will open next week and the childcare center opens in April.