Gonzaga Haven Welcomes Families
Gina was born and raised in Spokane and graduated from Mt. Spokane High School, “a hundred years ago,” she says with a wry smile. Gina attended college upon graduating, but after learning her father had been diagnosed with cancer, she became his primary caretaker. After a difficult battle, he passed away. Gina was heartbroken but knew her next step was to return to college. She was able to find work and save enough money to go back to college.
Gina got married, started a family, and left college shortly after that. Unfortunately, after a few years together, the relationship ended. She was married once more and had four beautiful children, although she and her husband lost a baby girl at 2 months old. Sadly, her second marriage dissolved, and Gina found herself out of work and homeless after a series of hardships.
“The biggest challenge of being homeless and trying to find a place is trying to find housing that is affordable in Spokane,” Gina said, when discussing the vast barrier many people searching for a home currently face. She and her children have been looking for a permanent home since 2019. When asked about the stress level of the children, she says, “It’s very high, because the kids were sad that they didn’t have a place to live, sad that they weren’t close to their friends and worried because they didn’t know when they were going to have a place to live.”
Thankfully, Catholic Charities Eastern Washington opened Gonzaga Family Haven, an affordable permanent supportive housing community for families.
After working with several agencies and the determination to provide a safe home for her children, Gina and her family were able to secure an apartment. Speaking about move-in day, she said, “Oh, the day that we got the keys to Gonzaga Family Haven was an amazing day. It was a special day. It was a very happy day.”
It’s now all about the little things for this family. Gina loves to cook. She can now prepare “real meals” in her own kitchen. Her children love to get the mail, previously a highlight of their day. They will now get to do that once again. Gina and her family love the small moments in life together as a family in their brand-new forever home.
You can impact families like Gina’s today! Please consider making a gift to our annual Catholic Charities Christmas Collection. Log on to cceasternwa.org/donate and help make a difference this holiday season.