SPOKANE, Wash. - As of July 1 one of Spokane's largest homeless shelters will suspend its sleeping program for the summer as lack of funding has forced the House of Charity to suspend its overnight accommodations for more than 100 homeless men.
Underneath I-90 in downtown Spokane is where the House of Charity's closure might be the most visible this summer. On average 108 men sleep at the shelter nightly. There's not enough room for all these men at other shelters so their only option might be underneath the freeway.
One of those people who may be sleeping out this summer is Robert Tuckerman. Tuckerman, who is 77, has been homeless for decades.
"Basically I consider myself from the date of conception I've been trespassing in a world I don't belong. I hate to say that," Tuckerman said.
The closest thing to a home he has is closing it's doors for two full months.
"If I had another car I would probably be sleeping in it," he said.
The House of Charity's sleeping porch is full most nights during the summer. It costs about $20,000 a month to operate the sleeping program and there isn't enough funding from the city or the state to support it.
"We've lost affordable housing in Spokane with the closure of some of the affordable housing in downtown Spokane, we have less places for people to go," Jerry Schwab at the House of Charity said.
Tuckerman and the other regulars at the House of Charity are coming up with a Plan B.
"Well the Valley library is open until 9 o'clock three nights a week," he said. "If I have to I can go across the street. There's a restroom open 24 hours."
Now the House of Charity is scrambling to come up ways to prevent the summer closure again next year.
"Our patrons are sort of numb and sort of in shock," Jerry Schwab said.
House of Charity is trying to find housing for their most vulnerable clients, including the sickest and oldest.
While the sleeping porch is closing for July and August the shelter will still offer meal service, medical and counseling clinics.
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