For over 40 years, SPEAR has served the children and families of Spokane’s lower East-Central community. Located just east of downtown, bordered by the freeway to the South and Sprague Ave to the North, this neighborhood struggles with economic deprivation, gangs, prostitution, drugs and violence.
There is no school in the neighborhood and the community center is located on the other side of the freeway – too far away for children to reach. SPEAR is the only program serving these children.
SPEAR provides year-round education, art, recreation, nutrition and a safe haven for 30-50 children each week. Outreach is also available to the families of the children.
As a Social Ministry Organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), SPEAR generously provides this support through 3 part-time staff and a few volunteers, help and donations from St. Mark’s and other Lutheran congregations with a modest budget of $30,000 per year. Thanks to Second Harvest food bank, SPEAR serves breakfast, snacks and lunch.