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

New Family Services Center to house 11 Catholic Charities programs in downtown Spokane

the Inland Register

(From the June 12, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)

Children and teachers from St. Anne Children and Family Center created a banner, reading “Welcome to our new home!” and headed up the procession entering Catholic Charities’ new Family Services Center in downtown Spokane. (IR photo from Catholic Charities)

On May 22, Catholic Charities Executive Director Dr. Rob McCann greeted well-wishers who came to celebrate and learn about the new Catholic Charities Spokane Family Services Center at 12 E. 5th Ave. in Spokane.

The theme of the Open House was “Swinging the Sledgehammer,” as the building will be renovated for the next several months to make it an appropriate home for the 11 Catholic Charities programs it will contain. The building, purchased from Sacred Heart Medical Center and located across the street from St. Anne Children and Family Center, will allow those who need multiple services from Catholic Charities to access those services in one trip.

Renderings by architect Ann Martin were on display during the event.

Dr. McCann spoke of his gratitude to Sacred Heart Medical Center and the Sisters of Providence, longtime allies of Catholic Charities, and to Donna Hanson, the former director, without whose vision and heart the agency would not be in its current position of being able to serve over 50,000 vulnerable persons each year.

The new location is near Spokane’s downtown core and to bus lines, as well as to the three programs that will not be housed in the new building: the House of Charity, St. Anne, and St. Margaret Shelter.

Bishop William Skylstad spoke of his pleasure in and admiration for the good work of Catholic Charities. He said the new site will allow the agency to “continue to serve the community in an even more efficient way.” He blessed the site and asked for God’s blessings on those who would work on and in the building. He expressed his appreciation for the renovated building, which will allow the agency to “serve our brothers and sisters in Christ, whoever they are.”

Under the supervision of Director Lee Williams, children from St. Anne were first to head into the building, wearing small hard hats and carrying toy tools and a banner that read, “Welcome to Our New Home.” Others soon followed in tours led by Catholic Charities staff.

Building fundraising activities will take place over the next several months, spearheaded by a $500,000 grant from the Gates Foundation. Donors to the fund are pleased by the building’s intended use, its economy of scale, and its LEED “silver” certified construction, indicating outstanding environmental accountability.

Catholic Charities employees are also contributing to the effort, eager to support an environment that will allow them to network with their peers easily and efficiently, thereby improving services to clients.

Catholic Charities Programs include: Bernadette Place, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Catholic Relief Services, Childbirth and Parenting Alone Program, Christmas Bureau, Counseling, House of Charity, Parish Social Ministry, Refugee and Immigration Services, Regional Offices, Respect Life, St. Anne Children and Family Center, St. Margaret Shelter, Senior and Family Housing, and Senior Services.

(To support the Catholic Charities Family Services Center Building Fund, contact Katie Doree, Director of Stewardship at 358-4267 or kdoree@ Secure online donations may also be made at

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