Catalyst Project opens doors for a preview prior to Camp Hope residents moving in

SPOKANE, Wash. — By Thursday, December 8th, some residents of Camp Hope will be living a new reality and life. Catholic Charities’ Catalyst Project opened its doors to the public Monday morning, and city and state leaders hope it’s the start to closing down Camp Hope.

Governor Jay Inslee was in town for a visit and toured the facility. He says this is exactly what our state needs to see more of.

“The Catalyst facility is not a band-aid. It is not sweeping people under the rug. It is addressing their permanent long-term problems so they can be permanently housed,” Governor Inslee told us.

With case management, employment, and behavioral health services, the residents will be connected to primary care and public benefits, all of which are geared to create a path out of homelessness. The residents that make the move first are the ones choosing this solution.

“It’s self-referrals. Anyone saying they want to go there, our peer support group navigates them through the paperwork process, and then it’s sent over to Catalyst and Catholic Charities, and then both interview the folks coming out of Camp Hope,” said Julie Garcia, Founder & Executive Director of Jewels Helping Hands.

Garcia believes this is exactly what some of the people at Camp Hope need.

“We take into consideration their barriers and make sure it’s an appropriate fit for the person trying to get into Catholic Charities,” Garcia added.

For many, the privacy of a room and a bathroom is exactly what they need to kick an addiction or get back on their feet.

“We do not think that any human being should eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom outdoors. We are better than that as a community. We’re better than that as a state. Today, we are better than that,” added Rob McCann, CEO of Catholic Charities for Eastern Washington. “We have to treat the least among us with the most joy, the most support, and the most compassion.”

Nobody other than residents will be allowed in the building and all neighbors will get a direct contact line for any issue that arises. With that, they’ll get an immediate response from security and staff. They tell us, they have a nine-person safety team with 24-coverage on the site. The 120 rooms will serve only a fraction of Camp Hope residents, but it’s a step in the right direction.

About five to 10 Camp Hope residents will be moving into the private rooms on Thursday. In the weeks that follow, they’ll move in about 20 per week until Catalyst is full, at 120 residents, including some couples.

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