Catholic Charities has built a rich, century-long legacy of serving the people who are most in need in our region. Over time, our focus has included seniors, migrants, people experiencing homelessness, veterans, farmworkers, people living with behavioral health conditions and many others.
Our most enduring commitment has been to women and children. Catholic Charities began providing services for orphans in the early 1900s and continues to offer classes for children and their parents today. We continuously enhance our programs with the most up-to-date practices that meet the specific needs of women and children in Eastern Washington.
Catholic Tradition values the important contributions of women throughout history. We have honored two by naming programs after them. St. Anne’s Children & Family Center is named for Anne, the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus. St. Margaret’s Shelter is named for St. Margaret of Scotland, who lived a life of piety and charity while raising eight children.
Women and Children Face Unique Challenges and Deserve a Life of Dignity
We serve women and children in our region because they face many unique challenges. Single mothers must earn an income while raising their children. New mothers with backgrounds of abuse or neglect must provide for their child’s emotional and material needs while learning to manage their own emotions. Mothers fleeing abusive partners need to protect themselves and their kids while creating a stable environment.
Our clients face these challenges in addition to the structural barriers all women face, from professional pay gaps to vulnerability to gender-based discrimination and violence.
At Catholic Charities, we believe each person’s life and dignity is sacred. We are obligated to make sure each mother has the resources, support and encouragement she needs to raise healthy, happy kids.
Catholic Charities has Always Served Women and Children
Our long history of supporting women and children includes operating a maternity home at DePorres Manor from 1959–1979. Catholic Charities managed the Spokane area Cuban Refugee Children Program from 1962–1966, after the Catholic Welfare Bureau worked with the U.S. State Department to bring more than 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children to the United States after the rise of Castro.
St. Margaret’s Shelter began serving “destitute women” in 1961, and in 1992 it refocused on homeless women and children. St. Anne’s Children & Family Center started as an orphanage and transitioned to serving pregnant single women, then support for children with developmental delays. The CAPA program started within St. Anne’s Children & Family Center as an adoption center.
Today, Catholic Charities Serves Women and Children in More Ways Than Ever
Several of our programs have been specifically designed with women and children in mind, and services are available in all 13 counties in our service area.
CAPA/PREPARES – CAPA (Childbirth and Parenting Assistance) provides an environment for parents to build loving bonds with their kids to prepare them for a healthy future. CAPA/PREPARES offers stabilizing and advocacy services to expecting and parenting individuals and families with children ages 5 and under.
**The Catholic Bishops of Washington State started the PREPARES program using the CAPA model. PREPARES offers free services to families in every county in Washington.
St. Anne’s Family & Children Center – St. Anne’s provides high-quality early learning opportunities and experiences for children from infancy through age 12. As a participant in the Washington State Early Achievers program, St. Anne’s Children & Family Center is committed to meeting and exceeding all quality and educational standards for our center and for each child we serve.
Rising Strong – Rising Strong provides residential services that allow families to stay together while they begin to recover from addiction, heal from trauma and rebuild their lives. Rising Strong offers holistic, family-centered drug treatment and housing to families at risk of entry to foster care.
St. Margaret’s Shelter – St. Margaret’s Shelter provides transitional shelter to transform lives in a supportive, short-term environment. St. Margaret’s Shelter offers social services that include individualized case management to regain and stabilize housing for families experiencing homelessness.
The Loft – Managed by Catholic Charities Walla Walla, The Loft provides temporary housing for youth aged 12–17. The Loft provides teens with case management to help them find permanent housing solutions and to access health care, education and other services.
Christmas Bureau – The Christmas Bureau provides toys, books and grocery store vouchers for thousands of low-income individuals and families. The Christmas Bureau is an annual holiday assistance program coordinated by Catholic Charities Eastern Washington, Volunteers of America and The Spokesman-Review.