Cannon Shelter to transition to year-round shelter thanks to CARES Act funding

Cannon Shelter cleared to open second level, now able to help 50 more people
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SPOKANE, Wash. — Mayor Woodward announced Monday that the Cannon Street Shelter will expand its capacity and transition into a year-round homeless shelter, thanks to CARES Act funding.

Woodward explained that the City’s Continuum of Care board approved a contract with the Guardians Foundation to operate the shelter through June 2021, at a cost of $750,000. After that, the City plans to have an operator at the facility 24/7. Additionally, 60 beds have been added to the shelter, expanding its capacity to 80—Woodward says that the shelter has been at capacity every single night.

This means that the Cannon Shelter will remain open during the summer, for the first time, as a day shelter—people will be able to shower, charge their phones and get connected to outreach services.

While the Cannon Shelter is a city-run facility, Woodward noted there are several nonprofits running their own shelters that are helped funded by the city, like Truth Ministries, Catholic Charities and Union Gospel Mission.

As these shelters now have to contend with both the freezing winter and a pandemic, Woodward said that the Cannon Shelter provides quarantine space in addition to the expected sanitation and temperature-checking protocols.

RELATED: Homeless shelters contend with COVID-19 heading into winter

This all comes just a day after Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced new restrictions after a statewide surge in COVID-19 cases.

“I think the Governor did what the Governor felt he needed to do,” said Woodward, speaking on these new guidelines. “My effort right now is to help those who are impacted; we have to protect our most vulnerable.”

Woodward said the surge in cases has been “alarming,” and that the best thing for Spokane residents to do is “to adhere to health guidance.”

“We know that we can wear the masks, we know that we can socially distance,” Woodward explained. “That’s what we have to do. It’s on us.”

RELATED: Gov. Inslee announces new statewide restrictions on dining, gatherings as COVID-19 cases surge