Real change occurs one day at a time

Jul 31, 2022

When Steve returned to The Salvation Army's The Way Out Bridge Housing Center in Spokane, the staff could not believe this was the same person who had left six weeks earlier for inpatient mental health and substance use treatment.

Learning to live sober is something many of the guests at The Way Out Center are learning. When Steve was feeling unstable, he was able to share with program staff that he needed help from mental health workers and needed to go to the Spokane Regional Stabilization Center.  Steve realized his meds were not working properly and he didn't want to relapse or ruin his opportunity of stability while working on his Emergency Housing Voucher by the Spokane Housing Authority.

This is the first time that Steve had used his new coping skills in asking for help before things got out of control. When staff called the Behavioral Health Unit (a collaboration between The Spokane Law Enforcement and Regional Crisis Services) there was no available beds for that evening. As a result, Steve thought it would be good just to talk to the Outreach workers from Frontier Behavioral Health-DCR Team.  However, the next morning, he expressed that he needed to be seen at the hospital as soon as possible.

As per procedure, The Way Out Center staff called Crime Check requesting assistance for this guest. Because of his past interactions, five  Spokane Police Officers arrived and walked right past Steve into the facility. When asked if the officers spoke with Steve prior to coming inside the building, one officer said, “No, I didn’t see him. I know him and have plenty of experience with him, so I know what we are dealing with.” A staff member walked the police officer over to Steve to offer assistance.  Once Steve was on his way to receive emergency mental health services, the officer approached the staff in disbelief. “Holy cow, I would have NEVER recognized him!”

The Assistant Program Manager, Michelle, replied, “It's amazing what love and support can do for one who is ready to do the heavy work to make the changes needed.” The basis of The Way Out Center is to build relationships with its community partners and help the program guests appropriately access services and help so that they can return to independent living away from the streets.

The Spokane Salvation Army's motto is 'Rescue, Renew, Restore.'   Steve is a good example of that and the wonderful things being seen at The Way Out Center!

This new program is for adults that are serious about exiting homelessness.  It is a referral-based, service-intensive program that helps up to 60 adults at any one time make the transition from the shelter system to affordable permanent housing.

As you can imagine, it costs money to help keep this vital program going.  If you are able, please consider making a donation today at www.makingspokanebetter.org!  Your help will make a positive impact on individuals looking to turn their lives around.  Self-sufficiency is the goal!  


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