Low Income & Homelessness
  • The only difference between most homeless and other people is Opportunity. 

  • There are many homeless people in our community.  Unless you meet an individual or learn a personal story, it is easy to become indifferent or judgmental - both excuses not to care or act. 

  • The media usually overlooks poverty and  hunger throughout most of the year, except for the holiday stories that make it seem as though an annual charitable contribution will solve the problem.   Remember, the poor and hungry have the same needs all 12 months of the year. 

  • What Works to Help the Poor.   Many nonprofits and volunteers are working hard to bring an end to poverty, crime and addictions.  These agencies and volunteers are helping to heal abused adults and children, reform criminals, and help addicts become free of the bondage of addiction.  

    Many bureaucratic programs hinder more than help people break out of poverty.  Although big government programs were established to help the poor, much of the money does not actually go to the poor, but to ineffective, wasteful welfare programs. 

    "We spend about $20 Trillion in programs to aid the poor.  Seventy cents of every one of those dollars goes not to the poor, but to those who serve poor people."  (Bob Woodson, Center for Neighborhood Enterprise)

    That has created a massive, self-creating bureaucracy some call the poverty industrial complex.  Its only way of surviving is maintaining a huge poor population dependent on government.  "So, poor people are being injured by the helping hand of government."  (Bob Woodson)

    House of Help/City of Hope project is in one of Washington DC's poorest neighborhoods, where abused women and children are healing, criminals are reforming, and addicts are getting free.  Bishop Shirley Holloway has spent decades, one by one, arming some of society's most hopeless people to become successful and productive.  She says what they need is up-close love and relationships.  The government uses systems.  Systems don't work for people.  Relationship does - one with God, one with yourself, and then one with others." 

    Government programs do not provide tools to beat addictions and poverty.  When government gives away money and food, it allows people to stay home and do nothing, knowing the government will take care of them.  On the other hand, discipline and teaching help people - helping them to stop using and selling drugs, committing suicide and committing crime. 

    Arthur C. Brooks in his book The Conservative Heart, How to build a fairer, happier, and more prosperous America, offers real, lasting and proven successful solutions to poverty.  He says poor people must be given the dignity of work and self-sufficiency.  We need to design policies that don't maintain people in poverty and keep them at the edge basically of subsistence, but give them an opportunity to build their lives through work."   (The House of Help/City of Hope, Reporter Paul Strand, CBN News, The 700 Club, August 27, 2015)
  • 16.2% of all people in Spokane County, between 18 and 64 years old, fell below the poverty line in 2013.  (2015 Market Fact Book, Journal of Business)

  • There are approximately 1,185 homeless people living in Spokane, including about 170 homeless families.  (January 2012)
  • In 2012, about 30 homeless people died in Spokane.  At least four were 17, and two others were between 18 and 20.  Half of them reportedly died of drug overdoses.  (Spokane's Housing and Human Services Department, and Community Health Association of Spokane) 
  • Poverty in America.   The poverty level is up again for the 4th year in a row.  There are now more poor people in America than at any time since the census records started 52 years ago.  More than 46 million Americans were living in poverty in 2010—more than 15% of American households.  Nearly 50 million Americans (16.3% of all households) do not have health insurance.   (NBC Nightly News, September 12, 2001)
  • One out of every 5 children in the U.S. lives in poverty.  Joblessness and foreclosure are obviously harming America’s children.  (Annie E. Casey Foundation, Sept. 2011) 

  • 22% of residents in the U.S. rely on food stamps.  (The Wall Street Journal put together an interactive map which shows a state-by-state comparison of food stamp enrollment, along with information factors that likely contributed to higher enrollment in particular states.) 
Local Organizations
Additional Resources
  • Spokane Community Resource Help:

  • DSHS Home and Community Services
    Food, Cash, Medical assistance

    Dept. of Social and Health Services - Washington State
    (509) 323-9400
    (509) 227-2200   North Office
    (509) 227-2500   Central Office, 1313 N. Maple Street
    (509) 227-2400   Southwest Office
    (509) 227-2700   Valley Office, 8517 E. Trent Ave, Ste 202

  • Spokane Homeless Coalition
    A group of representatives from Spokane's homeless agencies
    Join us the 1st Thursday of every month
    at the Gathering House
    733 W. Garland Ave.
    Spokane, WA
    Monthly meeting runs from 9:00 - 10:30 am
    email:  SpokaneHC@googlegroups.com