Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
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Pasco’s St. Vincent de Paul Society starts construction on new facility
by Mary Hopkin
(From the May 16, 2013 edition of the Inland Register)
Father Lutakome Nsubuga, parochial vicar of St. Patrick Parish, Pasco, gives the blessing at the groundbreaking for the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s new food bank and community services building in the Tri-Cities area. Pictured at right is Sina M. Pierret, president of the St. Patrick Parish St. Vincent de Paul Conference. (IR photo courtesy of the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business)
The St. Vincent de Paul Society in Pasco has begun construction on its new, $1.5 million 16,000-sq.-ft. facility.
The new facility, to be built at 215 S. Sixth St. in Pasco, will replace the nonprofit’s current headquarters at 115 W. Lewis St.
Sina Pierret, president of the St. Patrick Parish Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, said the former building won’t be missed.
It lacks adequate heating and cooling and space, forcing clients to wait outside for services – shivering in the freezing cold of the winter and having to bear the sweltering heat during the summer.
The new facility will include a 10,000-sq.-ft. steel building that will serve as a warehouse to house the facility’s food bank. It will include a walk-in cooler and a walk-in freezer, Pierret said.
A 6,000-sq.-ft. stick frame section will be attached to the steel building, serving as the new office and administration area.
“It will have room for a charity clothing area,” said Pierret. “It will also give us room for programs in the future.”
The new building will have more parking and will have a shaded area where clients can wait during food distribution days.
Pierret said demand for the nonprofit’s services have grown steadily since the recession started, with an average of 175 new customers each month.
Pierret said in 2012, the St. Vincent de Paul facility in Pasco provided more than $3 million in food to the needy in Benton and Franklin counties. Some 9,211 infants and children were served in 2012, in addition to 7,166 adults, 580 senior citizens, and 156 homeless.
Peirret said the nonprofit has seen an increase in the number of homeless people and more people who are working part-time and can’t make ends meet.
“We have seen customers coming back that we haven’t seen for years,” she said.
Romm Construction of Pasco is the general contractor on the project. Pierret said if construction goes as planned, they hope to be in the new building by the end of the year.
Pierret said the nonprofit has raised about half of the project’s total cost, but still needs about $700,000 to finish paying for the project.
The Conference is also seeking volunteers or in-kind donations to help complete the project.
Pierret said St. Vincent de Paul offers those in need food, emergency housing, clothing, social services and something even more important.
“It’s really something intangible,” she said. “When they enter here, they are coming to a place where people care about them.”
They receive respect and friendship, which gives them the dignity that becomes so important when they are trying to help themselves.
“We don’t judge and they can walk out of here with a smile,” she said.
For more information about the project and Pasco St. Vincent de Paul Society, visit the web site: www.svdppasco.org.
(This article and photo originally appeared in the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business, and are reprinted by permission.)
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