Pullman and Moscow resources help the homeless

Nicole Seven Evergreen reporter

Pullman had a 44 percent poverty rate between 2008 and 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The passionate people involved in Family Promise of the Palouse and the Community Action Center work in the area to support people in a time of crisis, helping to reduce this number.

Lindsey Rinehart, executive director of Family Promise, said their organization works directly with homeless families.

Rinehart said Family Promise started in October 2013 and has been growing ever since, providing shelter to four families at a time. These families can stay there for 90 days, she said.

The organization has a day center in Moscow that offers support such as medical services, laundry, showers, and assistance in job searching.

Rinehart said the organization includes volunteers who cook and deliver meals for the families. Some volunteers choose to stay and sleep in the center with the families as well, she said. 

“I think that we don’t have enough resources for families going through this crisis, particularly families with children,” Rinehart said.

Rinehart said it’s hard for people achieve employment and other long-term goals if they don’t have a place to stay and enough food eat.

Another resource working towards improving life conditions for people in need is the Community Action Center.

Family Development Program Manager Amy Robbins said the Community Action Center provides a variety of human services. These services include helping families pay heating costs and rental deposits to prevent evictions, a food bank, and overall help in stabilizing a household, she said.

“I don’t want them to choose between food, shelter, and medical needs,” Robbins said. “They should get all of them.”

Robbins said the center sees primarily low-to-moderate income families. Individuals also use their services, but the scenarios are different every time, she said.

Robbins said some people know exactly what services they need, and some are simply hungry.

“Energy and financial assistance and the food bank are just part of the puzzle of an overall household,” Robbins said.

Robbins said she always had the desire to give back, and has already spent 15 years working for the Community Action Center and helping people in need. She said she loves seeing people be successful.

She said a lot of people, especially single individuals and the elderly, rely on the services provided by the Community Action Center.

“A lot of people call me back years later and thank me for my help,” Robbins said.