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Chewelah UCC partners with Hope Street in Colville

Chewelah UCC is making mission connections with the homeless ministry of Hope Street Project in Colville. 

Food is brought to Chewelah from Hope Street Project in Colville.  Photo courtesy of Chewelah UCC

Recently Barry Bacon, a physician at Heartland Medicine Colville Clinic, spoke at the church about the ministry he co-founded with his wife, Shelley. 

He discussed addressing the call to Christians to meet the needs of neighbors in need in the community.

Although Chewelah does not have a high population of homeless, just over 20 miles north in Colville, there is great need, said Becky
Anderson, temporary pastor at Chewelah UCC.

The mission of Hope Street Project is, “To transform lives of people living without shelter or at risk of homelessness in Northeast Washington by creating shelter in connection with services needed to help them to be successful.”

The project has built tiny houses, operates a café where people can drop in, get essentials, take a shower, use a computer, and find resources and services.

They are also renovating buildings for housing, and some of their clients assist in the work, she said.

“I cannot think of a ministry that meets my ‘wish list’ of what a housing/homeless program should offer in a small, rural community to move people from homelessness to success than Hope Street Project. They are hitting so many of the necessary areas and are creative in using donations and volunteers,” said Becky. 

Chewelah UCC just sent a van full of supplies to the Hope Street Rest Stop, which is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Plans are underway to continue to increase the connection between the congregation and the Hope Street Project. 

Donations included toiletries, snacks, dental hygiene items, new socks, plastic forks, canned food items and more. 

Hope Street Project operates under the auspices of the Tri-County Community Health Fund (TCCHF), which is a nonprofit organization committed to addressing health disparities in Northeastern Washington, she said.

In addition to the outreach program, Chewelah UCC has initiated an in-person and Zoom book study that Becky is leading on Waking Up White by Debby Irving.

About a dozen people gather weekly to discuss the book, which invites self-examination and awareness of how little people know of racial issues, she said.

Since formally retiring two years ago from Newport UCC, Becky has been doing research for writing her own book on race, I Never Knew: Understanding Racial Issues Today through the Lens of History.

The author of Waking Up White tells of growing up “privileged” but not realizing it, which many in the study group resonate with.

“Debby came to understand that white people often have advantage. They are not ‘racists’ in terms of exhibiting angry or demeaning behavior toward people of color,” she said. “They may never have intentionally used their ‘privilege’ to undermine progress of black people, but they may have acted upon stereotypes.”

Becky said the book invites readers intentionally to choose to be allies with people of color and to find ways to level the playing field everyone.

For information, call 509-935-8046 or visit


Pacific Northwest Conference United Church News © Winter 2021-22


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