City of Spokane finalizes year-round shelter contact with the Guardians Foundation

City of Spokane finalizes year-round shelter contact with the Guardians Foundation
City of Spokane finalizes year-round shelter contact with the Guardians Foundation

SPOKANE, Wash.– A year-round shelter contract to help those in need has been finalized.

The City of Spokane announced Monday it had finalized a contract with the Guardians Foundation to operate a night-by-night drop-in and day-use shelter with wrap-around services. It will be at the city’s Cannon Street location.

The Guardian Foundation isn’t new to lending a hand to the people of Spokane. It has been operating a similar program to meet COVID-related needs for more than a year under the pandemic emergency. Now, it will formally begin as the year-round operator starting Oct. 1.

“By turning a facility like this that is only typically for emergency situations – smoke, cold weather – by making it year-round and all day long, it stabilizes the people we see in the building,” said Michael Shaw, CEO for the Guardians Foundation.

The city said moving to a year-round contract helps make sure the people who use the shelter know what to expect.

“A rainy day like today, these people would have nowhere to go, last year or the year before, so to have it year-round with 24-hour services, just stabilizes the community which we’re trying to serve, which is our homeless,” Shaw said.

It also helps the provider plan better for their staffing needs.

“Stability and predictability are critically important when it comes to establishing the trust and relationships that help people take their next steps out of homelessness,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said. “Finalizing this arrangement continues uninterrupted the connection to services and the staff who are working to get those individuals housed.”

The Guardians was picked through a public request-for-proposals process completed this summer to provide services for single adults and households without children. The City Council approved the contract, which runs through June 30, at its meeting Monday.

“This is a fundamental shift in the approach to homelessness and building the shelter systems,” said Brian Coddington, spokesperson for the city. “There’s been a lot of steps the mayor has taken along the way. This is one of those to add that predictability, that consistency and stability into the systems.”

Here’s what daytime services will be included:

  • Outreach and referral services for employment, housing, behavioral health, substance abuse, and other resources.
  • Case management
  • Transportation
  • Temporary storage for personal belongings

The Cannon Street location as also just remodeled last year. It has a restroom, shower and laundry space.

The $1.85 million contract is for 72 adults, three meals a day, and a point of contact for real-time shelter availability to help direct those in need of services or sheltering.