North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club Bulletin
November 14, 2022
            Nov. 21: Noon lunch at the Bark. Speaker: Tom Jarrad, USERRA claims.  (Rescheduled from 11-14-22).
Happy Bucks:
            Michelle Fossum was “really proud” about husband Terry’s section-front Spokesman-Review story and picture about his new book.
             Dave Hayward added $5 for Terry’s success and $2 for WSU’s football win over Arizona State.
            Ron Noble was happy for a grandson’s Army boot camp prize, adding “that was for you.”
            Laura Zahn was happy “for joining the club.”
            John Mailliard was happy for an outing about Veterans Day with grandchildren at Wilson School.
            Dinner dates: Club President Michelle Fossum said 17 of 25 tickets for members and spouses have signed up for the Coeur d’Alene Lake cruise at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20. Cruise tickets are sponsored by the club.   Members have dinner reservations at Tito’s Italian Restaurant after the cruise.  Contact Michelle ASAP if you would like to attend buy had not yet signed up.
            New members: Prospective new club members include Laura Zahn and Jerry Logan.  Nothing better Christmas season than to have new club members joining us.
            Holiday tags distributed
                      At the Nov. 14 luncheon holiday tags were distributed in the 40-for $60 program.  Forty needy students and their families from Holmes Elementary School will receive gifts valuing $60 per each student.
            Coordinator Lenore Romney said some tags remain so please contact Lenore if you would like to sponsor any of the remaining children. Deadline for returning the gifts is Monday, Dec. 5.
Variety of programs available for Veterans
            Veterans in need of help can access a number of programs in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.
            Piles of fliers filled the club luncheon conference room listing a variety of ways to help veterans.
            Describing the programs at the Nov. 14 luncheon were Gordon Graves and Mark Ward.
            Graves is a vocational rehab specialist for the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans center as part of the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane.  Ward works for Goodwill’s program with the homeless.
            Their program is part of the club’s month-long emphasis on veterans’ issues.
            Graves talked about topics for needy veterans seeking housing, food, hygiene, transportation, training assistance, work clothing, barriers to employment and even burial assistance.
            Ward said Goodwill can help with rent, deposits and supplication fees, safe places to live and things you would need for a new residence.
            Graves, a Vietnam-era vet, discussed his “trauma when he lost a brother and good friend in Vietnam.”
            That trauma, he said, included drifting and substance abuse.  “I hit rock bottom in Spokane and no one told me about the services available,” Graves said, adding, “Viet vets got treated so bad.”
            He said he finally got treatment in 2003 and entered college in 2005, though at some times while attending Whitworth he slept in his car when he relapsed and “got goofy.”
            “The veterans system saved my life,” Graves said.  He worked with Native American programs in Kootenai County and at Geiger Corrections Center before joining the Veterans Center agencies.  He said he started “as a temp, but now has been there 11 years.”
            Ward said “There are so many ways to help vets, including speeding up the claims process” for finding homes and other programs.   
            He added, “Goodwill is a main connection with the homeless and getting them into housing until they can get into a voucher program.”
            Ward said he started with programs in Los Angeles, but has been here three years, adding, “housing for needy homeless has doubled every year I have been here.”
            He said a variety of groups have helped, including one motorcycle club which helps people move into new quarters.  Goodwill can help with rent month for six to nine months, he said.
            Asked about helping street-corner needy people seeking a handout, Graves said it works better to direct the homeless and others to the agencies that can help.
            Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
            Photos:  Melinda Keberle and Lenore Romney