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Union Gospel Mission program changing lives

By Ian Cull, KXLY4 Multimedia Journalist, ianc@kxly.com
Published On: Sep 24 2013 09:13:13 PM CDT
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A program for Spokane's homeless at the Union Gospel Mission is being called life-changing, as its educating and employing a large group of its residents and turning them into positive, productive citizens.

When you're on a job site with Jeffery Lane, you'll rarely see him stop moving. It’s a far cry from a few years back. Lane was an alcoholic for two decades and his life hit a dead end.

“Not wanting to breathe. That’s what brought me,” Lane explained.

That’s when he walked into the Union Gospel Mission.

Lane was one of the first to graduate from an 18-month recovery program for the homeless at the mission. Many of them have struggled with some type of addiction. The last four months of the program include resume building and a job internship program.

This program brings them back, a life restoration they call it. The homeless work as an unpaid intern for one of 50 employers in the Inland Northwest.

Jeffrey Lane turned that internship at Spokane Ditch and Cable into a job.

“It's been great, it's been a life saver for me,” James Clapp said.

Clapp has a pre-law degree from Washington State University but his life spiraled out of control while working as a casino dealer in Las Vegas.

“Really at death's door. I was an alcoholic. I had no friends, my family had rejected me,” he said.

Since Union Gospel Mission started placing people two years ago, 80-percent of them have been offered a job and 93-percent are still working at those jobs.

“Work with them in an educational aspect but also in addiction recovery, life skills, relationships, boundaries,” Tiffany Riddle with the Union Gospel Mission said.

Jeffrey Lane redefined how he lives after completing the program as he keeps moving forward.

“It’s good, I don't know, it's life. You wake up and stand up,” Lane said.

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