There are times when more is better, but sometimes the opposite is true. For The Arc of Spokane, moving from two buildings to one has been a blessing, both for their staff and the thousands of local families they support.
For many years, the organization that provides resources to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities operated out of two buildings that sat about a half-mile apart. With different resources located in different buildings, this meant that individuals in need of help often found themselves having to move between the two spaces. Considering many of the individuals served by The Arc deal with mobility challenges, covering the distance was far from easy. At the same time, staff faced struggles with communication and coordination as they could not always simply walk down the hallway and connect with a colleague.
Fortunately, that distance is now a thing of the past as The Arc of Spokane recently moved into a brand new facility funded, in part, by a grant from the Murdock Trust. The brightly lit brick building features myriad benefits for staff and those served by the organization.
During a recent visit to Spokane, our team was able to tour the new space. The top floor bustles with energy as staff connect and collaborate seamlessly between offices. Moving downstairs is like walking into a college dorm as groups of guests work on craft projects, play cards, vie for the high score of the latest video game, study on computers and enjoy space for a variety of other games and activities. In quieter side rooms, visitors to The Arc receive one-on-one assistance navigating the process to secure government benefits, job training and placement and family resources.
In addition to the improved energy and experience for staff and visitors, the new space is delivering long-term returns as well. Since consolidating, The Arc has seen an increase of between 20 and 50 percent in most of their programs, credited to the increased capacity and improved accessibility of the new location.
At our visit, the Murdock Trust team had the pleasure of meeting some of The Arc’s staff, as well as the individuals they serve. In one case, we learned about a mother and son who came to The Arc for help because the man struggled with severe autism. Homeless and living out of their car, the mother needed a safe space for her son to stay during the day so she could find employment. Within six weeks of contacting The Arc, they had a home and were on their way to getting back on their feet. Staff shared that serving this family might have taken far longer in the old facility. In the new building, services can be provided much more quickly and fluidly thanks to improved collaboration and accessibility.
Organizations like The Arc are changing lives and improving the quality of our community every day through this important work. Thank you for sharing your story with us!