At an Annual Meeting held at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox on February 23, the Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP) and Business Improvement District (BID) confirmed leadership and named the 2017 recipients of the downtown Legacy Award and Impact Award.

2017 in downtown will be the year of “Engagement.” Attendees were encouraged create new partnerships to make unique ideas a reality.

Awards were made to the following:

Legacy Award | Dave Clack

The Legacy Award is awarded to a company, organization, or individual who has left a mark on our city by creating positive and sustainable transformation in downtown over a long period of time. Recipients represent visionary and creative problem-solving solutions accomplished through grassroots efforts, strong partnerships and innovation. Recipients exemplify exceptional contribution to the business, civic, or human vitality of Downtown Spokane, often becoming the catalyst for other development in the community.

Dave Clack was honored for his visionary leadership behind the creation of what would become known as the University District; because of the profound impact The UDistrict has had, and will have, for many generations.

In what was the first major initiative post Expo 74, Clack and others recognizing the importance of repurposing the land vacated by the rail industry.  Dave served as a Quad Chair of Momentum 87; bringing together more than 100 business people and 10 elected officials to come up with ideas to improve the economy.  One initiative that took root focused on the importance of growing our public university presence in Spokane; particularly in the area of graduate programs and the health sciences.

Clack was part of a group of people who worked with BNSF to acquire property that is now WSU campus – as well to secure funding for the Sirti building and many other key initiatives.  Later, he and his wife Mari worked with others to form the “Friends of WWAMI Spokane” that supports college students and helped to raise funding for the joint UW/WSU med school clinic program at the time, before co leading fundraising efforts for the new medical school.

Impact Award | Catholic Charities Spokane

The Impact Award is awarded to a company, organization, or individual who has made an impact on the downtown core in recent years. Recipients are renegades and risk takers, often finding potential in an underutilized property, or lending credibility to outrageous ideas. Recipients look at the community as a whole, bringing together partners to revolutionize the way business is done and serve as a role model for others in the business community.

In 2016 through federal and state tax credit support for Housing First for chronically homeless people, Catholic Charities Spokane and Volunteers of America of the Inland Northwest collaborated to build two additional 50-unit permanent supportive housing facilities on the 200 block of East Second Ave.

Housing First is an alternative to the idea of homeless people progressing from emergency shelters to transitional housing before permanent housing. It means homeless individuals or families move from the streets or shelters directly into their own apartments.

“Most troubling is the obstacle homelessness presents to human dignity for the least among us,” says Executive director, Rob McCann. “We are a strong, vibrant, compassionate community.  Nobody should ever be forgotten or invisible or have to sleep outside.”

And while Housing first has moved the needle in finding placement for the chronically homeless, there still remained a need to keep the doors open for temporary services so vital to the most vulnerable among us. Since 1958, the House of Charity located in the heart of downtown has accepted anyone in any condition, including those suffering from mental illnesses and addiction. The HOC provides emergency services including meals, clothing, shelter, and case management to an underserved population of homeless, transient, and poor men and women in the Spokane area while ensuring preservation of individual dignity.

Together with the City of Spokane, DSP and many private donors, today the House of Charity is open 24-7, working hard to end homelessness in Spokane. Catholic Charities is honored for their commitment to the people of our city and region, and for opening doors to opportunity, and never letting them close.