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Anna Ogden Hall. Located in the West Central neighborhood, Anna Ogden Hall houses, on average, 30 women and 12 children, while the women are involved in a recovery program. There is a women’s crisis shelter on East Sprague, where women can spend the night, but once they are accepted into the program at Anna Ogden Hall, they move with their children into the house and begin a recovery program that “includes individual and group counseling,


classes, vocational


affected every facet of my life.” She was treated for depression beginning at 17, and at 20 was hospitalized. “I tended to medicate with drinking,” she says, and at age 25, Heintz hit rock bottom. From rock bottom the only place to go is up, and that is what she did at Anna Ogden Hall. “I started priming for this program the


day I was born,” says Westphall. Born to teen parents, early in life she was saddled with the responsibility of caring for her younger


God that if he’d give me a relationship with someone worth being clean for, I’d do it. I realized I had that relationship.” She made her way to Anna Ogden Hall,


where she spent nearly two years, working toward a whole life, beating her addictions and getting her children back. Too often in our society, we are


uncomfortable with people in despair, such as the homeless and addicted, and don’t want to reach out. “I don’t see broken homeless


training and addiction recovery.” A Christian based organization, they take women from all religious backgrounds and faiths, or from no faith, but make it clear part of the program is developing a relationship with Christ. “The target audience is the woman who has found herself marginalized and is stuck in life right now,” says Christi Armstrong, women’s program director. This can include women who are dealing with drugs, domestic issues and are financially marginalized. “The saddest stories we have right now are women who are capable, but life went south. The one constant is the women want to change their lives.” Heather Heintz and Kim Westphall are two


women who have graduated from the program and seen their lives transformed and redeemed. “Chaotic,” says Heintz, describing her life


leading up to entering the door of Anna Ogden Hall. “I think the extreme of highs and lows


76 SPOKANE CDA • July - August • 2011


siblings, one of whom committed suicide. “I wore the guilt of my sister’s suicide for 20 years,” she says. Married and divorced by the time she was 19, Westphall later lived with a boyfriend whom she discovered had been lacing her food with meth for six months, to the point she had become an addict. When five of her six children were taken


away, it was heartbreaking. Westphall wasn’t even able to contact them. “I had no identity other than to be someone’s mother.” She wanted to die, but couldn’t bring herself to commit suicide, knowing the impact it had on her family when her younger sister did that at age 13. Instead, she decided if she drugged herself that would be better. “Even dysfunctional mothers watch their


children sleep,” she says. One night while watching her youngest son sleep, she realized it was “the only time I felt sunshine. I had told


women,” says Armstrong. “I see women who could make an impact in their world if they were given the chance and the ability to see it in themselves.” Both the Union Gospel Mission and Anna


Ogden Hall are helping homeless men and women see their potential through Christian grace-based recovery programs. “Most places are run military style—three strikes, you’re out,” says Heintz. “A grace-based program is so rare. If it was a three strikes you’re out, I probably wouldn’t have made it through.” Stories of tough lives often belong to adults


who can look back and see a path of destruction flowing like a river through their lives. The pain and troubles start early, as can be attested by a 2009 National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty report that states 1.35 million youth in the U.S. are likely to experience homelessness in a given year, and that, in 2003,


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