Christmas Miracles

A Family with HOPE

Joe and Cheyenne are young parents with three children (Stormy (4 months old), Sp’q’ni (2 years old) and Westlynn (3 years old)). Joe is a proud member of the Spokane Tribe of Indians and believes strongly that fatherhood is sacred. Recently, Joe and Cheyenne had lost custody of all three of their children due in large part to the couple’s battle with addiction. Just as they had nearly given up hope of getting their children back, they were given a chance to heal together as a family through Catholic Charities’ Rising Strong program. At the heart of this vital effort is the belief that a family battling addiction cannot fully heal separately. They must have the opportunity to rebuild collectively as a family.

Now, within just 3 months at Rising Strong, the entire family has been reunited! Halloween was the first joyful opportunity the family had to celebrate together. Both Joe and Cheyenne feel that the approaching Christmas season will be an emotional time for the two of them. That emotion comes with the realization that they have been given the chance to feel hopeful about their future. 

“To get this second shot at being the father I want to be, the father I never had, is amazing,” Joe said while reflecting on fatherhood. The couple vows to continue treatment and services, including counseling and addiction treatment, for “as long as it takes!” They both have come to realize how strong their union is and how much they can accomplish together.

Joe, Cheyenne, Stormy, Sp’q’ni and Westlynn will heal together as a family, and everyone at Rising Strong and Catholic Charities are proud witnesses. The couple will learn the skills necessary to live fulfilling, independent lives. And, one day, they will have a home and a reliable car, and they will create a safe space for their children based on love, respect and a proud tradition.

Healing the past creates HOPE for the future. 

After years of laboring in hard, physical jobs and living with substance abuse disorder, Terrle found himself exhausted, broken and homeless. In and out of hospitals and treatment centers, Terrle needed a safe place to heal both physically and emotionally. His life changed when he was referred to the House of Charity Transitional Respite Program. The Transitional Respite Program provides 24/7 shelter, three meals a day and transportation to medical appointments for individuals experiencing homelessness who are healing from acute medical issues. 

Terrle was overwhelmed when he walked through the doors at HOC. “I was in distress,” Terrle said. He was not ready for the healing that needed to take place and left after the first night. The next day, he knew the respite program was where he needed to be but was worried he would not be allowed back. The opposite was true. The HOC respite coordinator welcomed him back and according to Terrle, she was, “so warm and filled with compassion. I knew it would be okay.”

Terrle had a team of support at House of Charity who worked tirelessly with his case manager to empower him and help identify and overcome obstacles that were preventing him from finding housing. Terrle said his support team, “did not stop! If we hit a dead end, they just said we’ll figure it out and they tried something else.” Soon their perseverance paid off, and Terrle found a place to call home at Fr. Bach Haven, a 50-unit Catholic Charities property serving individuals who have experienced chronic street homelessness. 

Last month, Terrle moved into his own apartment, and to him, it represents hope. It is a foundation to a future that includes school and job training. His home also represents a connection to his children. The ability to spontaneously invite his son to dinner, at his home, at his table, just before the holidays.

Your gift is their HOPE. 

Please consider making a donation to the Catholic Charities Christmas Collection today!




12 E 5th Ave, Spokane, WA 99202

PO Box 2253, Spokane, WA 99210

(509) 358-4250 | (800) 831-1209

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Catholic Charities Eastern Washington EIN 91-0569880

CCEW Foundation is 501(c)(3) non-profit EIN 20-2823241

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Catholic Charities  Eastern Washington is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization;

Donations to Catholic Charities Eastern Washington are tax-deductible to the full extent allowable under the law.