It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Nadine Van Stone, who faithfully served at Catholic Charities for 21 years. Nadine began her career at Catholic Charities in 1999. She was hired to help design the new St. Margaret’s facility, create the program and its staffing and to develop the array of services that would be offered to the homeless women and children living there. Catholic Charities certainly found the perfect person to lead this program.
Since the opening of St. Margaret’s in 2000, this program has served thousands of families and has received countless awards from local and national organizations—including the coveted Margaret E. Casey Award for Strengthening Families, sponsored by Catholic Charities USA, and in 2013, Nadine received the Donna Hanson Award which is given to a Catholic Charities staff member who exemplifies the 4 core values of Catholic Charities: Respect, Compassion, Collaboration and Justice.
Nadine was a true visionary and servant leader. Her vision resulted in family shelter programing that is recognized by local and national funding organizations as “best practice”—programs that other shelters are encouraged to emulate. Her vision was to create programs that served families in every life dimension so that they not only received emergency shelter, but more importantly, were given opportunities, training, and support to be self-sufficient. Empowering families was the cornerstone of her vision, which emulated throughout the design of both St. Margaret’s and the Rising Strong Programs.
For a short time during her tenor at CCEW, Nadine also oversaw the property management at Summit View apartments which served as a bridge for many St. Margaret’s families to move into permanent housing.
Food Security was also a huge passion of Nadine’s, having grown up on a farm just west of Spokane. During her time at St. Margaret’s, she started a community garden and vocational program which later grew into CCEW’ s Food For All Program—but from its inception, served as a job training platform for families to train and learn sustainable food production.
Seeing the need for families to have furniture and household items as they moved from St. Margaret’s into permanent housing, Nadine launched the Community Warehouse. This venture was a partnership with other local non-profit agencies and community donors to provide free home furnishings for formally homeless households. This program also served as a job training site and later morphed into CCEW’s Furniture Bank/Furnishings for Hope store until it’s closure in 2018.
For the past 5 years Nadine served as the VP of Crisis Response and Stabilization, which included administrative support for the House of Charity. Under her administrative leadership, HOC launched our community’s first Housing-First project for singles. In 2016 when the community asked for a 24/7 solution to support individuals experiencing homelessness throughout the winter months, Nadine said “yes!” and HOC piloted our community’s first 24/7 shelter programing for singles.
Program development and implementation were her passion, and from that energy came the formation of the Rising Strong Program, one of the nation’s only family-centered drug treatment and housing program supporting households in staying together while they begin to recover from addiction, heal from trauma and rebuild their lives. This program was a major focal point of her energy over the past 4 years, as she continued to provide administrative support to both St. Margaret’s and The House of Charity.
Nadine’s vision for services designed for both singles and families that was holistic, dignified & lasting was realized.
One SMS staff member described her as the “matriarch of the family—the one you know is ultimately the driving force but, at the same time, who nurtures relationships that encourage and foster leadership among her “family members” so that all are enabled to do amazing things with confidence, skill and support.”
Inspirational, a visionary, and a true servant leader. Nadine was one of those truly special people that gave her heart and soul to Catholic Charities. Her incredible knowledge, expertise and leadership helped create these exceptional programs that serve the most vulnerable individuals and families in our community. She will be truly missed by clients, staff, volunteers, donors and supporters alike. She was a courageous heart warrior for the poor and vulnerable and her passion for helping others was endless. Her fingerprints and her soul print are forever on all that we do and her spirit lives on at Catholic Charities in all corners of the agency. We are so sad to lose this great person from our lives, but we know that she watches and smiles over all of us now.
Our continued thoughts and prayers are with Nadine’s family during this difficult time.
If you are interested in donating in memory of Nadine, please do so by supporting The Perry Street Farmer’s Market, a neighborhood market that was near and dear to Nadine’s heart: https://www.thursdaymarket.org/sponsorship.