About The ZONE

The ZONE is a community initiative, building hope and opportunity through collective action in the neighborhoods of Northeast Spokane.

Together with residents, schools, and partner organizations, we shine a light on deep disparities in health, education, and economic outcomes. We remove barriers, and we build upon our strengths so all children, youth, and families have opportunities to thrive.

In 2015, The ZONE Project formed out of a desire to build upon past neighborhood planning efforts with a new, more collaborative approach known as collective impact. Over 50 organizations and many residents came together across multiple sectors to develop a 10 year strategic plan, now in its implementation stage as we strive to create transformational change in the areas of housing, safety, health, jobs, and education.

Now called The ZONE, this dynamic initiative is housed at and staff hired by the Northeast Community Center. Residents are actively engaged in designing programs and decision-making structures that reflect the diversity of people, neighborhoods, and schools.

As a partnership of residents and organizations in Northeast Spokane, we are committed to:

  • Building powerful and inclusive connections.

  • Opening doors of opportunity with families.

  • Creating an impact that lasts for generations.

Learn More About The ZONE

What Does it Mean to be a ZONE Kid?


Now called The ZONE, this dynamic initiative is a part of the Northeast Community Center. Listed below is our core ZONE staff that does the work of the Community Initiative.

Jene Ray


Barbara Gongyin

Community Initiatives Manager

Tyana Kelley

Communications & Marketing Manager

Amanda Randall

Housing Diversion Case Manager

Lavonnie Mcmanus

Housing Diversion Case Manager

Ashley Painter

Wolff Fellow

The ZONE Resident Steering Committee

The ZONE Steering Committee is led by local residents and includes input from community-based organizations. They meet regularly to discuss priorities that are important to them and their neighbors. They make recommendations, which shapes our programming and where/how we invest in our community.

2024's priorities are:

  • Affordable Housing for Larger Family Sizes
  • Increasing Job Coaching/Training
  • Safe, Engaging After-School Activities for Youth

Sub-committees were formed by topic and are working alongside our ZONE staff as we advocate and develop programs to meet the needs of our children, youth, and families.


Melissa Bedford

Shanda Blunt

Allonda Brown

Gydance Brown

Pat Castaneda

Pat Donahue

Tienaya Godes

Natalia Gutierrez

Charles Hanson

Lorraine Holokai

Peggy Huan-McEwen

Marcia Johnson

Amber Lenhart

Stacy Lenz

Onnika Merkle

Terrance Nixon

Joe Potter

Debra Raub

Lisa Rice

Marsha Valenzuela

Lori Veitenheimer

Lisa White

Shante Williams

Bailley Wootton

Want to Get Involved?

Contact Jene Ray, Director of The ZONE, for more information.

Email: JRay@NECommunityCenter.com

Phone: 509.487.1603 x224

Our Values


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We are committed to understand and address inequities based on race, ethnicity, gender, economic status, language, and ability to eliminate opportunity gaps.


four hands, each grabbing the next's wrist | The ZONE

We build on our community’s assets – valuing the unique contributions and strengths of all residents.

holistic change


We aim to improve health, education and economic outcomes in NE Spokane families and neighborhoods through strategies that support multiple generations in the same household.

data driven

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We use data to understand inequities, focus strategies and measure impact at the individual, school and neighborhood levels.


Shaking Hands

We develop and implement holistic, multi-sector strategies collaboratively and align our resources to create larger impact.

trauma informed

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We strive to be trauma-informed and culturally-responsive as individuals and organizations.