Walla Walla—Wine Scene and CC Presence
Historically, life in Walla Walla would begin to wind down in the fall. With the last of the summer harvest of asparagus, green peas, wheat and barley, it would be time to prepare for winter in the Wallowa Valley.
Nowadays, fall arrives just as some of the best wine from the summer growing season hits the tasting rooms, and there’s no better time to visit! For sure, the wine industry has brought big changes to this agricultural community.
But it’s not just the economy that’s changing in Walla Walla — Catholic Charities has been undergoing some rejuvenation of our own.
A Little Bit of History
Catholic Charities and Walla Walla have grown together.
Walla Walla’s agricultural identity stretches back generations. As the markets changed, the region added food processing plants, only one of which is left. As successive generations looked beyond farming, higher education flourished here — three well regarded colleges dominate education today: Whitman, Walla Walla University and Walla Walla Community College.
Catholic Charities, too, has grown to meet the needs of the community. Seventy-five years ago, we opened a small office to provide counseling and foster home adoption assistance. We expanded those services in 1957, and in 1974 we opened a state-recognized child abuse prevention program. In 2002, we began offering immigration services.
What’s New in Walla Walla
Catholic Charities and the wine industry are bringing new life to the city.
The development of viticulture expanded Walla Walla’s tax base, generated unprecedented tourism and buoyed employment, particularly for migrant workers. In 2018, consumers spent $145 million on wine products and experiences in Walla Walla!
In the last few years, Catholic Charities has expanded with new building projects to serve new people. We renovated the old officers’ quarters at the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital to create St. Michael’s Haven, an affordable apartment complex where homeless veterans and their families can have a permanent home and access VA services.
Most recently, The Loft opened to provide emergency shelter and family reunification services to homeless youth. As a part of Washington’s strategic efforts to prevent teen homelessness, The LOFT serves street youth aged 12–18.
There’s Something for Everyone
As Walla Walla and its Catholic Charities agencies develop, there are opportunities for more and more people. If you’re checking out the sites, this website can guide you.
If you’re looking for some form of assistance, Catholic Charities offers a variety of services:
Immigration and Legal Services
Food For All
As we look to Walla Walla’s bright future, we are building new partnerships so we can continue serving this rapidly changing city. As Walla Walla continues to welcome new people and industries, Catholic Charities is excited to join them in building a place that promotes life and dignity for all.