City of Spokane still looking at locations for new homeless shelter

The city of Spokane is still mulling over places to build a new homeless shelter. The clock is ticking, though, as colder weather is coming and there is not many places for the homeless to sleep.

4 News Now has reported before that the Grocery Outlet was a viable contender for the homeless shelter, and it still is, said Kirstin Davis, the communications manager for the neighborhood and businesses services with the city.

It was so close in fact city council unanimously approved to purchase the building in July. However, it’s now September and nothing has been done.

“It’s frustrating for everyone. Especially the ones working that hard on it on a day-to-day basis,” Davis said.

The city is still looking at options, and they say it’s a complicated situation.

“It’s really hard because things change all the time,” Davis said.

The rental market continues to change, Davis said, as some locations they were looking at five months ago are now not on sale.

Davis said they are looking at five or six other places – one of them being the Daybreak Youth Services building located on 3rd Avenue and Arthur Street.

“The city did look at our building and our building is for sale. The city has looked at it, along with other potential buyers. At this point, we have yet to see a formal offer from anybody,” said Rich Reathaford, the chief financial officer for Daybreak.

Davis couldn’t say what other places they are looking at.

“If we make all that information completely public, even before we’re ready to make an offer, it can complicate an already complicated situation,” Davis said.

They do want to find a place as soon as they can, before the weather gets chilly.

“Warming shelters are not an efficient way to handle homelessness, and so we are trying to mitigate that. But, it takes time,” she said.

Davis said there is a lot that goes on in looking for the right facility and they are trying to do their “due diligence.” They’re looking at the size of the place, location and the infrastructure.

They still hope to house 120 people if could be they get more than one facility to house them, Davis said.

They are also still looking at the Salvation Army to operate the shelter.