A small ‘everyday event’ is a reminder of why Evangeline’s House is Here

Mar 2, 2020

On a recent snowy morning, a 15-year-old male named Jason walked into Evangeline’s House with his head slightly down and a look of despair on his face.  The staff remembered him, as he had been to Evangeline’s House the previous year.    

A member of the staff asked Jason what was wrong.  He said that he felt betrayed by his mother, whom he loved dearly, because he couldn’t be with her.  Unfortunately, his mother was battling demons within herself and was unable to care for him.  The little contact they had was now non-existent.

In reality, Jason’s stepfather had custody, but they didn’t always get along.  Thus, Jason had been in and out of foster care for the past two years. During that time, he stayed at Evangeline’s House for a short period of time. 

While having a conversation with staff about how much he has grown in the past year, Jason asked staff to check his old file and see how much he’s grown. A member of the staff checked on it and happily reported that he’d grown four inches and gained 14 pounds over the past year. Jason broke out with a big smile as he and staff talked about his growth spurt during that time.

Later, as staff reflected on this moment with Jason, several members commented on how it made them feel both happy and sad. They were happy that (Evangeline’s House) was here - then and now - for this young man.  The joy they and Jason shared when talking about his growth in the past year also made an impact.  However, that moment also sadly reminded staff that Jason didn’t have a home where his growth had been lovingly recorded with pencil marks on the wall for the past 15 years.

However, as Mark Nottle, the manager of Evangeline’s House, said “Finally (after feeling happy and sad over this situation), we were happy again to remember that this is why we’re here. To show love, care and compassion to these youth in our community who often don’t receive it from family. Hopefully the day will come when Evangeline’s House is no longer needed. When every youth has a home of their own with their past and current heights marked on the wall. Until that day, we’ll be here.

In January 2020, Evangeline’s House had 18 youth in the program for a total of 125 days of care, support and one-on-one dialogue with staff on how to move forward to reclaim their lives. This included case management as well as the use of outside sources.

This wonderful program is active thanks to compassionate donors that come alongside the Spokane Salvation Army to help give a hand-up, not a hand-out, to young people who are hurting and have nowhere else to go.  The Salvation Army seeks additional donors to help keep this house available 24/7, 365 days a year. For more info, or to give a tax-deductible financial gift, please visit www.makingspokanebetter.org.

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