Kirstin Davis, 509.625.7773
Friday, February 12, 2021 at 4:16 p.m.
In coordination with its regional shelter system partners, the City continues to adjust resources supporting community service providers in response to the extreme cold weather along with COVID-19 compliant operations and is temporarily adding additional non-congregate capacity due to the pandemic.
Thursday night reports indicated shelters were at capacity and hotel vouchers were used to stretch the system to provide safe accommodations. The system is poised to provide services needed through the weekend and Monday’s President’s Day holiday. The regional partners will continue to monitor the weather and adjust accordingly. Those in need of assistance should continue to contact shelter providers for help.
“We are grateful for the intense teamwork our regional system providers practice,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said. “Their flexibility and collaboration provide us the ability to adjust efficiently and effectively for our most vulnerable.”
Capacity reports are provided nightly by funded providers and system partners who volunteer their information. In anticipation of increased demand because of the frigid temperatures, providers have been assessing their populations to determine the best temporary housing situation in order to accommodate the increase in demand of services.
Dozens of no-barrier flex spaces were recently added to the shelter system inventory through provider partnerships. A COVID-19 outbreak at the UGM shelter, which also typically adds no-barrier capacity during stretches of below-freezing temperatures has temporarily halted this option. Still, shelter capacity has been consistently near or below capacity for several weeks based on provider reports. Recent adjustments were made to the accommodate families experiencing homelessness with Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington and Family Promise of Spokane.
The City continues to cover the $2 fee for entry at Truth Ministries, which opens up 75 spaces for men for overnight shelter. Additionally, other locations are adding spaces and flexing check-in times where they can to increase capacity while maintaining COVID-19 compliance. Various providers are equipped with options to assist with transportation coordination between shelter locations and for patrons who need rides.
Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington and Family Promise of Spokane recently worked with the City of Spokane to adjust how the regional partners accommodate families experiencing homelessness based on decreasing and sporadic demand. Those resources have been redirected to focus on other 24-hour shelter services for adults.
Current shelter and warming center operations include:
Drop-In Day Centers:
Additionally, there are community partners who can provide space and staffing if necessary for those who do not have adequate shelter. The Spokane Fire Department will complete welfare checks of vulnerable individuals who are out in the weather. The City has coordinated with community partners and providers to activate additional facilities and services if necessary. If transportation is a barrier, STA bus passes will be provided or City responders will transport if necessary.