Shelter Needs Help To Keep Helping Others

SPOKANE — Local charities have become a victim of the national economic crisis. More people are seeking help but the charities themselves are running into financial problems as donations dwindle.

Here in Spokane, Truth Ministries homeless shelter lost three of their biggest donors this winter and now they are looking to the community for help.

Over the last six years, Truth Ministries has taken in thousands of homeless people, helping them kick their addictions and providing them a place to stay.

“I used to sleep underneath the bridge on Maple and Ash Street,” said Steven Brown.

Brown, a recovering addict, has come a long way since those days.

“If it wasn’t for Truth Ministries and other shelters I would probably be out there doing drugs and drinking,” he said.

Brown spent about a year at Truth Ministries. He credits the shelter with helping him kick his meth addiction, leading him to the Lord, and helping him to grow strong enough to live on his own.

“This place does a lot for a lot of people, I want to see it keep going,” he said.

Brown’s story is one that’s been repeated hundreds of times over the past six years.

“We have our beds full almost every night,” said Truth Co-Director Julie McKinney.

Julie and her husband Marty run Truth Ministries, the pair has devoted their lives to helping others, but now they’re on the other side of the equation.

“Everything hit at once this winter,” said Julie.

Three of their major donors stopped giving money, leaving the mission to survive on about $1,500 less a month than before. At the same time the McKinney’s have seen the bills increase at Truth, they still owe Avista hundreds of dollars.

But the McKinney’s are keeping their faith.

“God’s been faithful so far,” said McKinney. “We know He’s not going to let us down.”

Brown is hoping the McKinney’s prayers are answered by people in the community, so the mission can continue to tell success stories like his.

“I just plead with the public, give what you can,” he said, “A little bit goes a long ways down here, it really does.”

Volunteers will hold a fundraiser at the corner of Hamilton and Mission on Saturday March 14th, informing people not to give to panhandlers but to give to the charities that help them instead.