City of Spokane paying $100,000 to house homeless at Spokane Arena, Community Services building

Spokane Arena opens as temporary shelter

SPOKANE, Wash. — The City of Spokane is paying $100,000 to house the homeless at the Spokane Arena and the Community Services Building during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city has entered two separate contracts, agreeing to pay $50,000 to the Spokane Public Facilities District to cover costs at the arena and $50,000 to Spokane County for costs at the facility on 8th Ave.

Both contracts are set to expire at midnight on August 13, with the opportunity to extend to a month-to-month tenancy should it be agreed upon by both parties. The lease can also be terminated by either party with 30 days written notice of termination.

READ: Spokane Arena to temporarily house homeless, shelter operator says

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On Saturday, 69 people moved from the downtown Spokane library into the 7,500 square-foot Spokane Arena. The library was temporarily set up shelter space for people during the pandemic, but is now set to undergo planned renovations.

The arena space will ultimately be able to house 110 people. Those previously staying at the Cannon St. shelter will be moved in through phases.

The Community Services Building will serve as a women’s shelter.

Both of these shelters would not be open if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. Mike Shaw with the Guardians Association, who is overseeing the Spokane Arena shelter, said there has only been one confirmed case of COVID-19 within Spokane’s homeless community.

RELATED: City, County confirm plan to move homeless into Spokane Arena