As the snow turns to rain and we do our best to stay dry, many of our vulnerable neighbors are also looking for ways to stay warm. Catholic Charities is well known in Eastern Washington for operating shelters and warming centers, but there are in fact differences between the two types of facilities. The House of Charity and St. Margaret’s Shelter are two shelters (emergency and transitional) operated by Catholic Charities in Spokane and operate year-round. The new Family Warming Center at the former Holy Names Convent is a short-term emergency shelter that was opened in December 2019.
The House of Charity (HOC) provides a multitude of services to men and women experiencing homelessness. Services include meals, hygiene services, case management, a sleeping program and the Providence House of Charity Medical Clinic. The HOC is open daily from 7:30 a.m. - noon for day services and 7 p.m. - 6:45 a.m. for the sleeping program. To ensure individual dignity, the HOC accepts anyone in any condition regardless of where they are on their journey that might include mental health struggles or substance use disorder.
St. Margaret’s Shelter provides transitional and emergency housing to families experiencing homelessness. While families work on their transition to stable housing, St. Margaret’s offers a warm community with services such as resident meetings and life skills classes, an emergency food bank, a communal kitchen and living areas, and the beloved Pearl Boutique that offers gently used and professional clothing. St. Margaret’s accepts families through Homeless Family Coordinated Assessment and offers support and resources to families as they travel on their journey to stabilization.
The Family Warming Center was opened in December 2019 in partnership with the City of Spokane. The Family Warming Center is located in a converted art studio at the former Holy Names Convent and can sleep up to 45 people per night. Services include a full bathroom and kitchen, laundry facilities, a comfort room for children who can’t sleep and case managers on site every day.
Whether it be a permanent year-round shelter or a temporary warming center, Catholic Charities will always welcome those in need to gather and shake off the winter chill with a warm heart. Visit our home page to learn more about our programs or call our Family Services Center at (509) 358-4250 to learn more about warming centers.