While Spokane County has seen a 60% increase in the number of homeless students over the last 5 years, our schools continue to have significant numbers of students and families in need of stable housing. Priority Spokane is proud to announce it has secured funding and will be partnering with Deer Park School to launch a pilot project to house, support, and stabilize homeless students and their families in two of Deer Park’s schools (Deer Park Elementary and Arcadia Elementary).
The in-school pilot will begin in September 2016 and run through June 2019 (3 school years). The pilot will provide important data which will be evaluated to assess impact on student homelessness across Spokane County, where there are almost 3,000 homeless students identified annually. The funds supporting this program come from Providence Health & Services, the Spokane Regional Health District, and the Inland Northwest Community Foundation.
As part of the project, Priority Spokane will be contracting with St. Margaret’s Shelter of Catholic Charities to administer the program placing specially trained community health workers in the schools to identify and work with homeless students and their families. Resources have been garnered that will address the student’s housing, health care, and academic progress as well as the parent’s vocational skills, financial literacy, employment, and overall stability. The pilot program was designed based off of research conducted by Dr. Deanna Trella and Dr. Timothy Hilton of Eastern Washington University on Priority Spokane’s behalf in 2015.
We are excited to partner with Priority Spokane to serve and support our children and families in need!
About Priority Spokane
Priority Spokane is a unique collaboration of organizations working to create a vibrant future for Spokane County. Our goal is to foster measureable improvements in key areas of community vitality. By focusing efforts on a few priorities associated with economic vitality, education, the environment, health and community safety, Priority Spokane aims at creating a thriving community for all who live and work here. In 2014, Priority Spokane was the recipient of the RWJF Culture of Health Prize after the successful implementation of a $200,000 grant from the same organization to lower high school dropout rates. Priority Spokane is now focused on mental health and homelessness issues specifically the stabilization of homeless students in K-8th and their families in Spokane County. For more information, visit http://www.PrioritySpokane.org