PHOTO: Spokane Community Services Building
SPOKANE, Wash. - A local shelter is helping women get back on their feet, even through the uphill battle of the coronavirus. 
 
The pandemic made the Hope House team realize social distancing is a luxury. They said they probably wouldn't even be able to safely shelter 10 women if they stayed in their original location.
 
To put that in perspective, Hope House staff said they usually had to turn away 10 to 15 women a night before COVID-19 even took hold.
 
First, they temporarily moved to the downtown library. That temporary arrangement ended, and they then moved to the Spokane County Community Services building. Staff said that space can safely shelter about 60 women with social distancing.
 
Volunteers of America president and CEO Fawn Schott said they've had several other wonderful successes since the crisis began in March. 
 
"We were able to house 10 ladies. They moved in and unlocked their own front doors, which is absolutely incredible," Schott said. "We were thrilled to be able to do that even through two moves and all the crisis and energy, and then we had three ladies get jobs."
 
Schott is thrilled to have the Community Services Building as a shelter resource for the time being, but said the ultimate goal of the Hope House is to get the women they serve out of the shelter system and into permanent housing. Her team is proud to see them rising to the occasion against all odds. 
 
Construction on the new permanent Hope House shelter started before the pandemic, but construction was delayed due to the virus. The team hopes the downtown shelter will be complete by April 2021.