“In August 2018 a dear friend finally found the freedom she had been seeking in the bottle, dying from alcoholism. Jill loved God and was one of the most spirit-filled people I have ever been around, when she was sober. I would wake up to messages of hope and encouragement, scriptures and praise on my phone.
“But over a two-year period, I knew that there would be many weeks where Jill would disappear back into her addiction. Jill always felt she had another drunk left in her, convinced it would be followed by another successful recovery.
“Compassion is a spectrum, and I think it is compassionate to deal with people’s basic needs. But I think so often our compassion is an expression of our own unwillingness to take the time to actually do what will long term help somebody. If I drive by somebody panhandling on the corner, it is far easier for me to reach in and put a dollar into the hat than it is to say, ‘Would you come and have a hamburger with me down the street? I want to find out about you as a person.’ And that gives me the opportunity to actually develop a relationship…Street people are notoriously poor in terms of relationships with people outside the street population, and it’s those relationships that are probably going to move them forward into a better life in general.” – John Repsold, Mosaic Fellowship, Spokane
“Spokane is what people make of it. I want to influence my environment. I want to be the influence, not be influenced by it. So, it is what I make of it. Could it get better? Of course it could, but that depends on each person.”
“I moved here right after tax season, so it would have been April 12. I love it! I used to live in downtown Charlotte, and then I moved out to Wenatchee to be near my sister, and it was just too small of a town for me, so I wanted to get back to a downtown area, and I love it here. It’s fantastic….They just opened a new dog park right down the street where Riverside and Sprague come together, so we go down there two or three times a day.
“I love being this close to the mall. I love the weather, the restaurants, the river. I can be downtown and just walk another block, and it’s like you’re out in the country kind of. I love it.” – Lydia (and JoJo), Spokane
“I’ve been here on this corner for seven years. I’ve been in Spokane for 41 years. I raised my family here. My grandchildren are here now. I will never leave Spokane. It is safe. It is relatively clean. It has plenty to do. I flat out love it. And I have been in most parts of the United States and this is the one I’m going to stay in.
“The average person has a hard job. This is what I mean by that. I go out to speak at groups all the time, and I ask them, ‘When you think of homelessness, what images come to mind?’ And I always hear dirty, drug-addicted, smelly and cardboard signs…all those kinds of phrases. And they’re right. They are kind of dirty, kind of smelly, and they do hold cardboard signs. And then we call them a human being. Right? The homeless person. Why can’t we just admit that whenever we think of homelessness, those are the images that come through our minds?
“I call our ‘hand business,’ TeachLove. It is what I believe in to the core! Big people and little people need to know they are loved and we need to teach this! My main mediums to share are through our hand crafts of upcycled wool and fur and naturalness. I enjoy making dolls and sharing song and music! I plant food for folks and wildcraft, spending most of my time in nature and love the pace of the ‘real life.’
Hi friends! You might have noticed we’ve been off the radar for a while now. We wanted to reassess our efforts behind INW People and its value.
In case you don’t know who runs this site, we’re the in-house marketing team for Union Gospel Mission (Hello!). Our job outside of this space is to help people experiencing homelessness in our community and inspire others to do the same. Through our work we meet a lot of incredible people from all walks of life and creating INW People made sense to us for a couple reasons: 1) It’s a place to collect and share some of our favorite portraits and quotes from those we encounter. 2) It’s a way to bridge our regional, social and economic boundaries. In addition, we want to invite others to share portraits and stories of their neighbors too!
“I guess my favorite thing I’ve done this year is learning photography and just getting back and creating things.” – Brianna, student at Spokane Falls Community College
Photo by Sarah Barnts
“The best meal I have ever eaten was at Joel Robuchon. My wife and I went while we were in Las Vegas. It was a meal that just stuck on my palate and my mind. The flavors of each dish and the dining experience were so phenomenal I couldn’t stop smiling, and I can’t wait to go back again.
“I got into the restaurant business to bring joy to people by serving them my food. To see people’s faces become happy with a certain comfort after they take their first bites. Owning my own restaurant has given me the chance to meet all kinds of people, as well as creating an avenue for my wife Jill and I to give back to the community.” – J.D. Leonetti, chef owner, Prohibition Gastropub