City: Jewels Helping Hands won’t vacate homeless shelter, new operator can’t move in
SPOKANE, Wash. — Jewels Helping Hands announced Thursday afternoon they will not remove their property from the Cannon Street shelter for the next two weeks.
The move is their right under their contract with the City of Spokane. The decision means the city will be unable to access the space for the next 14 days.
The city’s warming center contract with Jewels was set to expire Friday at midnight. Miscommunication led Jewels to believe the contract expired Thursday and the operators removed more than 110 people from the shelter on Thursday morning.
Those people have been set up in tents in Browne’s Addition’s Coeur d’Alene Park. The city said Jewels violated their contract by doing so.
As Jewels was moving people out of the shelter Thursday morning, city, county and health officials were working to approve a new operator to manage the shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Guardians Foundation was chosen and expected to take over the Cannon Shelter space Friday morning.
Since Jewels’ property will be in the space for the next two weeks, those looking for services will be directed to the temporary shelter at the downtown Spokane library, which is also now operated by the Guardians.
“Jewels has served their guests well over the course of the contract. It’s unfortunate the city won’t be able to serve those guests in that space for the next two weeks,” said City Spokesman Brian Coddington.
When asked if people will be forcibly removed from Coeur d’Alene Park, Coddington said there is a 10 p.m. curfew, as there is every night. He said those people will be directed to other city services.
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