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Grant supports new Collaborative Housing and Social Services Project

Bezos Day 1 Family Grant to be Key Driver in Planned Gonzaga Family Haven Project

On Nov. 21st, Catholic Charities Eastern Washington announced that the Bezos Day 1 Family Fund had selected Catholic Charities Eastern Washington to receive a $5 million grant to support its new Gonzaga Family Haven project.

The Gonzaga Family Haven project is a collaborative effort lead by Catholic Charities and involves the City of Spokane as the current building site owner, and Gonzaga University and Gonzaga Preparatory School, who will assist with community-building assets for the project.

“Families, and most importantly, children, need a roof over their heads at night before they can think about anything else,” said Rob McCann, President & CEO of Catholic Charities. “Gonzaga Family Haven will not only help families stabilize their lives but will give them options for a brighter future.”

The Gonzaga Family Haven, once built, will provide housing to more than 70 formerly homeless families. The housing complex will be built in northeast Spokane at the corner of North Foothills Drive and Nevada Street.

The collaboration between Charities and the schools will allow students at Gonzaga University and Gonzaga Preparatory School a chance to express the love of Christ to the residents through service opportunities at the Haven apartments. According to Catholic Charities, both Gonzaga University and Gonzaga Prep will “engage in providing innovative educational and enrichment programs to families at Gonzaga Family Haven.”

“We are excited at the prospect of engaging our students, faculty and staff in community service learning through this dynamic, promising project,” said Thayne McCulloh, president of Gonzaga University.

Bishop Thomas Daly spoke enthusiastically about the partnership and the opportunity the grant gives to Catholic Charities and the community to continue supporting those in need. “The regular partnerships between Catholic Charities, other Catholic institutions, parishes, and the wider community is a hallmark of the Catholic Church of Eastern Washington,” Daly said. “I am proud of the Catholic people of the Diocese of Spokane, and our non-Catholic partners and friends as well, for being a community that cares for the least of these and continues to find the best ways to work for justice and charity in Spokane.”

The grant from the Bezos Day 1 Family Fund was one of 32 grants awarded by the Fund this year. Charities across the U.S. competed for $98.5 million in grants. The Family Fund works with an advisory board of experts in homelessness who invited organizations to submit grant proposals. Catholic Charites Eastern Washington was one of three recipients in Washington this year. The Bezos Day 1 Family Fund was established in 2018. This is the second year the Bezos Day 1 Family Fund has awarded grants to charities working to alleviate family poverty.