Strengthening the community with a hand up, not a handout
Since 1966, SNAP has been a dynamic and dependable resource in Spokane County.
In a community where one-in-five residents lives at or below the federal poverty level, SNAP offers over 30 programs to help people establish stability and self-reliance. Emphasizing core values of Community, Respect and Justice, we strive to be a resource for hope. We operate with a mission of: “Increasing the human potential of our community by providing opportunities for people in need.” Here are just a few ways SNAP makes a difference in the greater Spokane community:
Money management and credit building
SNAP helps people make the most of their financial situation by offering classes and counseling in areas like money management, credit building and first-time homebuyer education. From getting out of debt to starting a savings account, these programs have a proven track record of helping people find and keep their financial footing.
Helping residents in crisis
When a severe windstorm hit the Spokane area in 2015, SNAP worked alongside other community organizations and jurisdictions like the city of Spokane to help families secure safe housing and repair homes impacted by the storm. SNAP also provided free firewood to over 500 households affected by power outages, helped with frozen pipes, relit pilot lights for heat and hot water tanks, moved branches and reattached power masts.
Keeping homes safe
SNAP Housing Improvements completes around 1,000 home repairs each year. The Essential Home Repair program provides vital upgrades to help some of the community’s most vulnerable homeowners. Areas of focus include plumbing, electrical, furnace replacement, wheelchair ramps, structural issues and more. These repairs allow people to remain in their homes. SNAP also offers a weatherization program that saves homeowners’ significant costs by making homes more energy efficient.
Helping seniors at risk
The SNAP Long-Term Care Ombudsman program features staff of three and over 30 volunteers who advocate on behalf of vulnerable seniors in assisted living centers, group homes and adult family homes. Each year, the program accounts for over 2,000 visits to these facilities, protecting seniors in Spokane, Pend Oreille and three other counties.
When area homeowners are on the verge of losing their homes, SNAP steps up to help. Since 2013, SNAP Housing Counseling has saved over 1,000 homes in Spokane County from foreclosure. SNAP also offers comprehensive first-time homebuyer program with a two-part class and follow-up counseling.
Keeping people off the streets
SNAP has a dedicated Homeless Services office in downtown Spokane where qualified and compassionate counselors meet with some of our community’s most vulnerable residents. As Spokane County’s designated homeless services coordinated assessment program, SNAP helps place these people into housing and off the street.
Keeping the lights and heat on
When a low-income senior has to decide between groceries or paying her power bill, SNAP Energy Assistance comes to the rescue; same with families who may have trouble covering utility costs, especially during cold Spokane winters.
Providing an opportunity for entrepreneurs
Each year, SNAP Financial Access helps dozens of small businesses start or expand in the greater Spokane area. The micro-enterprise program provides free counseling to aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small business owners. Low-interest loans are also provided through this program.
Former U.S. Congressman George Nethercutt served on the SNAP Board of Directors for 10 years. Here’s what he had to say about the agency:
“Having served on the SNAP Board years ago, I’ve seen how far SNAP has developed programs to assist those in need throughout the Spokane region. That’s where SNAP comes in – providing energy assistance, weatherization or just a caring voice can make all the difference to those in need in our community. Not everyone has the resources to survive our challenging economy but having a resource for assistance gives peace of mind and helps families stay together to weather any storm. It’s a testament to Spokane that SNAP exists, providing security to thousands in need. It’s one of the best ways I know to help our Spokane neighbors—to be on call in their times of need.”