Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Northwest

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Northwest (BBBS) provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Their program MentorU, provides at-risk, teenage girls aged 14-17  with female mentors and tools that help them reach their full potential and surrounds their families with ongoing, case management services to create healthy, vibrant communities. Of the youth that BBBS serves, 80% come from single-parent households, 9% have a parent in prison, and 81% are considered low-income.

MentorU will be using funds provided by WHWF to assist with a career & college preparedness curriculum, an electronic app, and interactive events that support their progress toward high school and college completion, a fulfilling career, and lifelong resilience. Since 1965, BBBS has reached over 11,000 youth with the life-long, transformative power of mentoring. Their model centers on the belief that inside each child is the potential to succeed. When children and teens have the influence of a caring adult, they are more likely to avoid risky behaviors and to focus on academics. Today’s youth face a variety of challenges and being matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister can help them navigate these challenges and reach their full potential. “Over the years, we learned that we are going to have the greatest impact on these issues if we can address them earlier in the individual’s life trajectory. Focusing on the formative adolescent years, we can positively influence their view of the world and self, not only now, but for a lifetime.” -BBBS

CAPA and Circle of Security-Parenting

Catholic Charities 

Catholic Charities of Spokane affirms the dignity of every person, partnering with parishes and the greater community to serve and advocate for those who are vulnerable, bringing stability and hope to people throughout Eastern Washington. CAPA’s Circle of Security-Parenting program helps families stop cycles of abuse and neglect before parents pass trauma onto their young children. The grant provided by WHWF will help the program continue to expand their COS-P classes for at-risk mothers and their children and staff a Support Coordinator to recruit mothers for our programs. Catholic Charities was founded in 1912 to address our communities members’ most urgent needs. The CAPA Circle of Security Program-Parenting was founded by therapists to stop unhealthy cycles for at-risk families and build protective factors to decrease abuse.

By improving parents’ attachment to their children, CAPA is helping decrease family violence trauma, while connecting parents with mental health support, health care resources, and referrals. The Support Coordinator will recruit an additional 500-1,000 new families to CAPA in 2019-2020 and will engage them in at least 1 CAPA resource. Nearly 91% of those served in CAPA parenting classes are living on less than 50% of area median income. 85% of parents served are single parents. “Poverty is associated with increased chances of childhood abuse or neglect. The rate of child abuse in Spokane is also 40% higher than the state average. Each year, Spokane has more than 5,000 reported cases of child abuse or neglect.” -Catholic Charities

Women's Educational Assistance Program

Community Colleges of Spokane

Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation (CCSF), founded in 1972, actively promotes awareness of CCS with donors and prospects to efficiently increase the flow of resources to the colleges. In collaboration with CCS, the foundation works to support students, faculty, and programs through sound financial stewardship and by increasing philanthropic resources to increase access to quality education and training opportunities that benefit that social and economic well-being of our region. The CCSF Women’s Educational Assistance Program (WEAP), financially supporters female students enrolled in innovative non-credit and career-technical programs that prepare them for skilled and living-wage occupations. CCSF provides the only comprehensive public community college program in our region that delivers adult educational courses, job skills training, and enrichment programs to prepare women for gaining stable, family sustainable employment. Women who enroll in CCS ABE classes complete training for employment, or prepare for transition into an accredited degree program. A primary focus, however, is on building women up in their educational experience, helping them to discover the confidence to pursue the education and training they have set out to accomplish. Many of WEAP’s female participants are in emergency financial situations due to unexpected life events such as losing a job or spouse. Others are underemployed, earning wages that cannot support their families basic needs. “Through individualized skill development and encouragement, ABE programs meet each student exactly where they are at academically and emotionally to help them advance their employable skills and gain financial independence.” -CCSF


Create Your Statement

Create Your Statement brings education and awareness to the prevention of dating abuse while promoting leadership and character development among today’s youth. Their REDFLAG program equips teen girls aged 12-18 with the knowledge, resources, and tools to avoid unhealthy relationships and understand how to form healthy relationships for their future. Funds provided by WHWF will expand Create Your Statement’s comprehensive school and community based programming to prevent child abuse among Spokane’s teens. Their intensive, 7-week REDFLAG training program will empower teenage girls to form healthy relationships that are free from all forms of abuse. REDFLAG combines three key principles to achieve change: (1) preventing dating abuse and child abuse between teens, (2) developing assets and leadership skills—two protective factors, and (3) giving back to the community through volunteer opportunities. The learning objectives are couched in REDFLAG’s 7 modules: 1) R=”Respect”, 2) E=”Expect disrespect—Disrespect will happen in life”, 3) D=”Decide—Decide what to do when disrespected”, 4) F=”Future—Envision what the future will look like if disrespect is accepted”, 5) L=”Lead—Lead don’t be led”, 6) A=”Authentic—You can be anything so be yourself”, 7) G=”Gift—Your life is a gift.”

Prime Time Family Reading Program

Humanities of Washington

Humanities Washington sparks conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst, nurturing thoughtful and engaged communities across our state. Prime Time Family Reading Program is an outcomes-based family literacy curriculum that engages low-income, academically at-risk children and their family members in exploration of the humanities through the reading and discussion of children’s literature. The grant provided by WHWF will support the delivery of up to 4 six-week Prime Time reading/discussion series in Spokane County Library District during 2019-2020, serving 60-80 families (180-240 children and adults). This is a humanities-rich program that uses reading, the Socratic Method for discussion, and storytelling to emphasize the importance of families reading together, prompting conversations about significant cultural and ethical themes. Prime Time a) uses stories and universal themes to positively affect participants’ lives and b) prepares participants for lifelong learning and success by connecting families with their public library and its many resources. Prime Time participants meet weekly for six weeks at their local library. “The program creates a precondition for future learning by empowering parents and guardians to help children enjoy reading while improving literacy and critical thinking skills, achieved through modeling reading and discussion behaviors families can easily incorporate into their daily lives.” -Humanities of Washington

Kids Eating Right-Nutrition & Exercise for Life

Inland Northwest Farmers Market Association

The Inland Northwest Farmers Market Association (INWFMA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting famers markets and their sustainability. They serve the community by connecting farmers markets and programs to those who need them the most. The Kids Eating Right-Nutrition and Exercise for Life (KERNEL) program engages children in learning about lifelong healthy eating, gardening, and exercise habits, all while offering a different family fun and free activity each week, fresh food vouchers, and access to resources that empower women and children as they build healthy families and connect our community through farmers markets. The grant provided by WHWF will afford the organization the capacity to expand the KERNEL program to 2 new sites, reaching 2,000+ Spokane County youth with a preventative, proactive health program that connects underserved children and their families to critical, safety net services in the community.

KERNEL’s youth-oriented nutrition and physical activity program engages children in learning about lifelong healthy eating habits, food preparation, exercise, and community. From yoga to worm compositing to “farmer’s market bingo,” KERNEL offers a different fun and free interactive learning activity each week that is open to all youth. Upon completion of each short activity, children receive a $2 voucher (good for any fruit, vegetable, or plant at our markets), as well as an informational/recipe card that is connected to the activity. “Service statistics show that we reach diverse populations of youth, particularly those from lower income and/or single-parent households, with approximately 60% of participating youth coming from households that also qualify for SNAP or WIC benefits, meaning they live at or below the federal poverty line.” -INWFMA


Second Harvest

Fighting hunger, feeding hope: Second Harvest brings community resources together to feed people in need through empowerment, education and partnerships. The Bite2Go program provides healthy weekend meals and snacks for students facing hunger at home. The grant provided by WHWF will provide Bite2Go with funds to provide more students with their weekend food program for school children in need. One in five children in Spokane County faces food shortages at home. Many children therefore rely on federal subsidized school meal programs for most of their nutrition during the school year. These students face greater risk of hunger over the weekend when school meals are not provided. Bite2Go helps fill the gap by providing weekend meals and snacks for food insecure schoolchildren. These students discreetly receive bags of healthy, ready-to-eat, nonperishable food items at school to cover meals and snacks over the weekend. The food provides vital nutrients to chronically hungry schoolchildren with kid-friendly products such as beef lasagna, shelf-stable milk, cereal bowls, fruit cups and mixed dried fruit for elementary aged students and a variety of other food for older youth. Second Harvest currently has adoptive organizations on board to sponsor 3,500 students each week in 69 elementary schools and another 600 students in 12 middle and 9 high schools. Second Harvest’s goal is to identify opportunities for new adoptive organizations and growth, including filling gaps at any underserved schools.

SNAP Financial Access

Women's Business Center

 SNAP increases the human potential of our community by providing opportunities for people in need. The Women’s Business Center (WBC) helps women succeed in business by providing training, mentoring, business development and financing opportunities to women entrepreneurs. Funding will be used for financial literacy education and business development training to prepare women to be successful entrepreneurs and increase opportunities for financing, both utilizing our CDFA loan funds and for referral to traditional banking partners. The WBC provides premium trainings and consultation to women and other disadvantaged entrepreneurs seeking to launch or expand their business in order to increase household income. The WBC offers the only comprehensive, non-profit financial education and business technical assistance programming specializing in stabilizing clients through education and empowerment in Spokane. The WBC provides a critical link in the local economic ecosystem by providing financial education and credit building activities for both business and residential loan purposes, as well as for the personal enrichment of our clients seeking to improve their overall financial situation and income stability for themselves and their families. WBC premium services lead to stronger business starts. Five years after receiving a loan from SFA, 80% of SFA funded businesses remain in business due in  no small part to the training and on-going support provided by SFA.

Passport to Opportunity

Spark Central

Spark Central ignites creativity, innovation, and the imagination necessary for people to forge the path to their best future. Passport to Opportunity removes barriers that prevent low-income youth from developing their English Language Arts and STEM skills in out-of-school settings, so these youth experience school success and on-time graduation. The grant provided by WHWF will help Spark serve 660 students aged 5-18 from high-poverty West Central schools with 5,452 contact hours of STEM and literacy skill-building programs over the year, increasing the odds these students will graduate from high school. Passport to Opportunity responds to the dire educational disparity we see in Spokane’s low-income neighborhoods, including our local West Central neighborhood, where fewer than 83% of adults have graduated from high school. Spark delivers quality educational programming to help address barriers to academic success. Teachers that Spark works with estimate that children start self-labelling themselves as poor readers, bad at math, etc., around third grade. Spark’s programming results in a sense of student achievement, leading to higher motivation for schoolwork.

Food 4 Thought

Spokane Valley Partners

Spokane Valley Partners work to prevent hunger and poverty alongside great community partners. There are more than 800 reported homeless students in the four greater Spokane Valley school districts. Food 4 Thought provides weekend food to more than 450 homeless students. The grant provided by WHWF will help fund food, facilities, and equipment expenses for Food 4 Thought. These homeless students battle food insecurity on a daily basis. This is often coupled with anxiety, depression, behavioral issues, severe decline in school performance, critical slump in concentration and a slowing of cognitive development. They fall further behind as a result of these insecurities. When Spokane Valley Partners hears that another child needs weekend food, they don’t slowly contemplate whether or not we can meet the need and if we have sufficient support. They don’t send out e-mails or call around to secure a sponsor for the additional expense. We simply say, “yes,” to the hungry child and, without hesitation, add the student to our list. By the end of the week, that student will have food for Saturday and Sunday. Food 4 Thought is crucial in helping kids get enough to eat, so they can nourish the brain and body everyday—not just on weekdays when they receive free meals in the cafeteria. “Our goal is an even playing field for academic success regardless of economic status.” -Spokane Valley Partners


Teen & Kid Closet

Teen & Kid Closet

Teen & Kid Closet (TKC) helps boost the self-esteem of children and teenagers in foster care, by providing fashionable clothing and accessories of their choice, to promote their self-esteem. TKC is a brick and mortar shop that provides new and gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories to children and teens who are in foster care or poverty. TKC clothing and shoe donations are solely from community support. Each child, from baby to young adult, must be referred to TKC by someone of authority; social worker, school counselor, etc. Once a referral is received, TKC contacts the family and invites the child, with an adult, to come shop at a scheduled time at the store. TKC was established in 2007, to allow youth to shop for and receive clothes, free of charge. “Most of our youth served to not have any other access to nice clothes. Often, this is the first opportunity they have to pick their own clothes, stop in a retail clothing store, and receive brand new items.” -TKC

Emergency Receiving Facilities

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army’s Emergency Foster Care placement, Sally’s House and Evangeline’s House are the only receiving facilities in the state providing emergency placement for children and transitioning youth, ages 2-20, who have been removed from their home due to extreme abuse and/or neglect. Funding provided by WHWF will be used to provide children and transitioning youth in the Salvation Army’s emergency foster care with shelter, a structured schedule including naptime, clothing, toys, nutritious meals, medical and dental, academic support and tutoring, arts and crafts, and recreational activities and field trips. Specially trained staff are on side to accept children 24/7 for emergency placement. Children are brought to the Salvation Army day or night by local law enforcement or Child Protective Services. Each child can stay at Sally’s house for three months and Evangeline’s House for 15 days—with a court ordered extension, if needed. The Salvation Army understands that 70% of children in foster care also have siblings in foster care, and they accommodate sibling sets so children can remain together.

Women's Hearth


Transitions’ Women’s Hearth drop-in center offers women disenfranchised by poverty and homelessness safety, respect, a place to attend to hygiene needs, and holistic services to support women in realizing their power to take steps toward health, financial, and housing stability. Funds provided by WHWF will go towards helping women meet their basic needs including shower facilities, clothing, hygiene products, food bank distribution, psycho-education and health classes, case management services, and assisting access to benefits, treatment, healthcare, and housing. Since 1995, Women’s Hearth has been working to end poverty and homelessness for women and children in Spokane, WA by operating the following programs: Miryam’s House is a transitional housing program with support services to help single women in crisis. Transitional Living Center/EduCare was established to provide transitional housing with support services and onsite licensed childcare for single mothers with children recovering from homelessness. Women’s Hearth is a daytime drop in center with support services for women experiencing homelessness, poverty, mental illness, trauma, and other crisis. New Leaf Bakery Café is a social enterprise that provides job training and support services to help women experiencing poverty address their barriers to employment. Home Yard Cottages is a 24-unit, cottage-style permanent supportive housing community designed to stabilize families and individuals experiencing poverty who have significant barriers to stable housing and self-sufficiency.



Women & Children's Free Restaurant

Women & Children’s Free Restaurant (WCFR) is a vital safety net which fills nutritional gaps for women and children in  need while fostering dignity and respect, both within our restaurant and in the community. Nutrition-to-Go reaches out across the community in collaboration with 28 partner locations to feed Spokane’s most vulnerable women, children, and teens, including those experiencing homelessness, family violence, mental health issues, trauma, and pervasive poverty. WCFR developed the program as a way to reach those who are unable to come to our restaurant due to transportation, scheduling, or geographic barriers. Nutrition-to-Go’s unique model depends on collaboration with other social service agencies and allows women and children to access nutritious meals a part of another service they receive. They strategically partner with organizations located in Spokane’s lowest income neighborhoods such as East Central, West Central, Downtown, and Hillyard. The program currently works with 28 partner locations and is on track to serve 40,000 meals in 2019. Creating a wraparound experience for vulnerable citizens fills a critical gap in our community.