As city wrestles with homelessness, councilwoman goes to the source for answers

As city wrestles with homelessness, councilwoman goes to the source for answers

Sharron Davis never saw it coming.

“You could have never told me that I would be in this situation,” Davis said. “I had my life planned, going for me.”

She was three credits away from her degree with a job and place to stay. A year and a half later, she’s sleeping outside of Nordstrom, in Spokane.

Security officers rustled her from her sleep Monday morning at about 4:00 a.m. Six hours later, she skipped her time slot for a shower at a local shelter so she could talk to Spokane City Councilwoman Kate Burke.

Burke spent Monday morning at the Spokane Library so she could talk to Davis and other homeless people about what they need to get off the streets.

While the city tries to figure out how to combat homelessness, Burke is doing some independent research. Her event at the library was just the beginning of many conversations the councilwoman wants to have with homeless people.

“We need to start thinking uniquely. Maybe providing huts, or tiny homes or something a little more affordable for our pocket books, but allows a place for someone to get off the street,” Burke said.

Another idea Burke said she has is creating vending machines with food and toiletries for the people who don’t have them.

Those ideas a few on a growing list of options that will be fueled, in part, by the short survey people filled out Monday.

That survey is just the start though.

“I just really want my voice to be heard,” Davis said. “My hope is that there is just more and more compassion that everyone shows people, especially those who are without homes, because the circumstances are hard and sometimes you just want to know you have someone in your corner.”