Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Living situation for developmentally disabled women boasts vacancy

by Bonita Lawhead, Inland Register staff

(From the Dec. 4, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

Bernadette Place, Catholic Charities living units for developmentally disabled women in Spokane, has room for one more.

The six two-bedroom units that make up Bernadette Place have 11 residents, but there is room for 12.

The two single homes and four duplexes at 925 N. “A” Street, no. 2, are specially designed for their tenants, featuring bright, spacious rooms with large bathrooms and wide hallways that can accommodate wheelchairs if needed. One unit was specially fitted for a client who was deaf, but she later moved elsewhere, said program manager Jesse Hansen.

Hansen has been program manager at Bernadette Place since March 2002, and has been with Catholic Charities five years.

An activity room attached to one of the single units provides for family and community events.

The living complex blends in nicely in its neighborhood of older family homes.

The women who live at Bernadette Place take part in a variety of programs. Until the economy took a downward turn, nine of the women held jobs. Now only four or five work, Hansen said. Some of the women attend classes at PACE Services, where they learn computer and other job skills. They also work out in aerobics and weight training classes

Spokane Park and Recreation Department has a therapeutic program in which residents take part in community activities such as eating out or going to the theater. Other community programs provide one-on-one activities.

Bernadette Place began in 1961 as a program called Partners for Community Living at the old St. Margaret Hall. The program was changed in 1992 and women in the program moved into apartments that year. Emphasis was placed on helping them be a part of their community. Placement is arranged through the state’s Department of Developmental Disabilities.

The facility was built in the summer of 2001 and dedicated Sept. 19 that year. It was named for the late Providence Sister Bernadette Botch, who assisted in acquiring a grant from her Province to purchase land for the facility. Sister Bernadette died in December 2000.

Anyone wanting more information about Bernadette Place can call Hansen at (509) 326-2023.

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