Jeff Humphrey, Media Content Coordinator, 509.625.6308
Friday, April 5, 2019 at 1:24 p.m.
Photo Courtesy of Ryan J. Rowe
Every April, volunteers roll up their sleeves and donate their time and energy to make Spokane a better place to live.
This year, Mayor David Condon and members of his Cabinet decided to kick off the Spokane Gives 2019 campaign by helping Family Promise stand up a new homeless shelter inside the old Cassano’s Deli building at Mission Avenue and Napa Street.
“It’s great to see Spokane Gives in its sixth year and also on the platform of VolunteerSpokane.org. Last year, some 23,000 volunteers gave over 120,000 hours of service in this single month,” Condon said proudly.
Those volunteers included some of the City’s Senior Staff like the director of the Public Works Department, Scott Simmons.
“I think that it’s important for us to be out here and setting the example. I think it really helps, kind of encourages others in our community to be part of it as well,” said Simmons.
The Cabinet was assigned to clean and paint a Family Promise apartment that will soon help a homeless couple give their kids a safe place to live.
Spokane’s City Attorney and Chief Financial Officer performed the inglorious task of detailing the apartment’s 70-year-old bathroom.
“This project has a special place in my heart because I grew up in this neighborhood,” said Mike Ormsby as he knelt over a dirty bathtub.
“I think that’s exactly what a community is so this is what we should be doing. I haven’t felt this useful in a long time actually. So it feels great,” joked Gavin Cooley, the City’s CFO.
“And this project is fantastic for this community and I think our jobs personify our commitment to the community and like Gavin said, this is probably the most useful either one of us have been so we’re glad to be here,” City Attorney Ormsby added.
City Council member Kate Burke spent her morning down in the building’s basement sanding walls in a cloud of dust.
A mask over her face made Burke almost unrecognizable.
“I volunteer because I feel like it’s my duty in this community and I’ll continue to volunteer my whole life,” pledged Burke.
The Mayor says an ongoing commitment to volunteering defines the Spokane Gives campaign. Condon is hoping other people discoverer being compassionate can also be contagious.
“To get on some work gloves and help with one of our shelters, especially right now as we work on issues facing those experiencing homelessness, this is one of those opportunities where they can really see what that means and be part of that partnership we have with Family Promise,” Condon said.
Family Promise hopes to have its new shelter up and running by mid-June.
Spokane’s Community, Housing & Human Services Department helps fund Family Promise programs.