Spokane Valley Partners is looking for like-minded nonprofit agencies to join their family as they continue to undergo a few internal and external changes.
The privately funded one-stop community service organization -- which serves the entire east end of Spokane County with various services and programs, including the largest food bank in the county, a clothing bank, Valley Daybreak, emergency services and energy assistance -- is looking for tenants to take over lease space vacated when Women, Infant and Children services (their largest tenant) moves down the street to Broadway and Pines on Nov. 1.
“We will have three suites available that will be vacant due to internal moving,” CEO Ken Briggs said. “With WIC leaving we will move our administrative office into their previous location and then that will leave some of the suite space open for lease and open for another driving non-profit to join our family.”
Briggs explained that the smaller offices would be ideal for a smaller nonprofit organization to headquarter. He stressed the importance of filling the building because not only does the organization pay its bills through the leases charged, but also because he knows empty rooms don’t help people.
“The more services that we can provide here the better,” Briggs said. “We don’t want people to drive all over to seek service. When they come here they can get a variety of things done with one stop.”
Along with filling the vacant space left from the WIC move, Briggs explained that the organization is planning for some exciting changes thanks in part to some capital project dollars secured from the Legislature coupled with private funding.
“One of the projects we are doing is a new kitchen classroom,” Briggs said. “We are very big on educational programs. All of our programs have some kind of education components including cooking and nutrition. We wouldn’t mind having a small café meal program for folks, upping the ante a little bit on our cooking classes to include getting kids involved in ethnic cuisine and things like that.”
Another service the organization would like to establishis opening a crisis clinic at the facility due to the changes in health services with implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
“Starting Oct. 1 people can sign up for the exchange,” Briggs said. “But really nobody I’ve talked to knows how this plays out in terms of really low-income people who often use the emergency room. What kind of reception do they get with the new coverage in the emergency room? We think there is still a place for a light scale clinic with mid-level practitioners overseeing a crisis clinic.”
The organization is confident that clinic space will be available at the bottom level of the facility, as they know that the dental office that occupies most of the space now will eventually seek larger and newer quarters.
Along with the reshuffling and remodeling of the facility, the small staff of three-full time and five part-time members is also undergoing a few changes.
Cheryl Ward has taken over as the new Food Bank coordinator bringing with her more than 13 years of grocery and freight experience.
“That’s a really positive change,” Briggs said. “Things were running well out there but are running even better now. She really understands the grocery business and has a great rapport with the volunteers. She’s doing a great job.”
Also joining the organization is new development director Jennifer Schelenske, who previously worked as the communications director and also the executive director for the Spokane American Heart Association.
“We have some really exciting things right now,” Briggs said.
Spokane Valley Partners is located at 10814 E. Broadway Ave. For more information, call 927-1153.