Spokane Journal of Business

Union Gospel Mission reconfigures building

Project to free up space for five new classrooms

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Spokane’s Union Gospel Mission is remodeling a building it purchased recently at 1306 E. Trent, to enlarge its offices and to create additional space for classrooms and its vocational education center, says Phil Altmeyer, executive director of the mission. 

Altmeyer says the $800,000 renovation of the 9,000-square-foot building will enable the organization to expand, and provide more room for clients, employees and volunteers. “We’ve run out of space,” Altmeyer says. 

Altmeyer declined to say how much the nonprofit organization paid for the building. 

The organization’s main facility is located at 1224 E. Trent, where it has its administrative offices and operates a men’s shelter. Altmeyer says 35 mission employees work out of that building. Some employees will be transferred to the new building once it’s completed, although those details haven’t been finalized yet, Altmeyer says. 

UGM’s other programs include a women’s recovery program and emergency shelter located at Anna Ogden Hall at 2828 W. Mallon here. In 2012, the mission also opened its Center for Women and Children, a residential recovery center in Coeur d’Alene. UGM provides shelter to up to 150 men every night at its shelter on Trent, Altmeyer says. 

The funding for the remodeling project comes from Milan and Gladys Callahan DeRuwe, who supported the mission and had a vision that the mission’s resources would include educational opportunities, Altmeyer says.

Spokane-based McLellan Construction Inc. is the contractor for the project and the architect is Ron Joseph Architecture, of Spokane. Joseph says the renovation started this month and the project is tentatively scheduled to be finished by early September. 

Altmeyer says the remodeled facility will include five classrooms that each will be able to accommodate up to 30 people, and a vocational education room with computers for researching employment opportunities. 

“We assess (residents of the shelters) and help them find jobs,” Altmeyer says. “So this is a place where they can find jobs they want to pursue.”

Through its vocational education center, located at its main facility on Trent currently, the organization teaches men and women how to use computers, polish resumes, study for a GED or prep for college, he says. The mission’s Employment Ready program offers participants specific instruction on how to get and keep a job, he adds. 

The building on Trent previously housed Inland Fastening Systems, a Spokane hardware business. 

The Union Gospel Mission currently has more than 400 active volunteers, Altmeyer says.

Judith  Spitzer
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Reporter Judith Spitzer covers technology, mining, agriculture, and wood products for the Journal. A vintage-obsessed antique collector in her off hours, Judith worked as a journalist in Colorado and Oregon before joining the Journal.

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