Spokane Journal of Business

CHAS, Union Gospel Mission plan expansions into Lewiston

Behavioral health, shelter services needed in region

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Two Spokane-based nonprofits have announced plans to expand services to Lewiston, Idaho.

Union Gospel Mission Inland Northwest is planning for a new shelter there for men, women, and children who need help exiting homelessness permanently, says development director Steve Ellisen.

As previously reported in the Journal, Union Gospel Mission has closed its thrift store, at 419 Snake River, in Lewiston, to be repurposed for the shelter use. The thrift store operated for about 18 months before closing.

Ellisen explains that the mission has planned a capital campaign through next summer for the Lewiston shelter, which will cost an estimated $7 million to develop. Union Gospel is seeking about $3 million in donations from the community to fund the shelter.

He says the mission plans to break ground in about a year.

CHAS Health also plans to bring a new behavioral health clinic to serve the Lewis-Clark Valley. That facility is expected to open next spring, according to a press release from the health care nonprofit.

The organization was awarded $1 million in funding through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for the development of the new center, dubbed the CHAS Behavioral Health Center-Lewiston, according to the federal grant information.

CHAS Health’s grant proposal describes the Lewis-Clark Valley as a home to over 63,000 residents, with high poverty rates, and limited access to health care services due to its relative geographical isolation.

The organization will help address the need for a rural health center and opioid treatment programs in the area, after the only hospital in Lewiston discontinued outpatient mental health services in 2019.

CHAS Health also plans to continue operating a primary care clinic in Lewiston and a dental clinic in nearby Clarkston, Washington.

Proposal information provided by CHAS Health states that the new facility will support 450 patients per year, including patients with serious mental illness, children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance, and patients with substance use disorders.

CHAS Health has previously launched a behavioral health center at 5901 N. Lidgerwood, in Spokane, with federal funds. According to the Lewiston grant proposal, CHAS states that it met or exceeded all milestones in the Spokane project plan and wants to bring its model to the Lewis-Clark Valley.

Erica Bullock
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Reporter Erica Bullock has worked at the Journal since 2019 and covers real estate and construction. She is a craft beer enthusiast, who loves to garden and go camping with friends.

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