House of Charity moving homeless shelter outside of downtown Spokane

House Of Charity (1)
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash – Hundreds of people seeking overnight shelter and food will no longer get it at the most frequently-used downtown Spokane location. Catholic Charities announced Wednesday it will soon move its primary shelter space outside of downtown Spokane.

House of Charity has served the homeless for decades in its current location on West Pacific. Services will continue there until the new space opens.

Surrounding businesses have often complained about overflow from the shelter and blamed its clients for crime in the area.

Catholic Charities has its own cleanup crew and security to address those issues.

The change, announced Wednesday during Mayor Woodward’s State of the City address, comes as the city grapples with conflicting plans to deal with the homelessness issue.

Catholic Charities says it’s been working with the city and Spokane County on a regional plan to address the issue.

They’ve dubbed the project “House of Charity 2.0.”

The plan includes building a “new, state of the art facility” at a location already secured outside the downtown corridor.

But the five-paragraph news release never names an exact location for the new shelter.

The release does say this is not related to the recent proposal for a new shelter on East Trent Avenue and that Catholic Charities is not applying to be the operator of the new shelter at that location.

4 News Now asked Catholic Charities President and CEO Rob McCann specifically where the shelter will go.

McCann replied, “I’m not going to answer that question.”

When pressed further, McCann said the organization plans to do outreach in the area, saying “We’re going to start reaching out to neighbors before it turns into a Facebook fight or a petition or a bunch of your cameras getting people riled up.”

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The new shelter will provide 24/7 on-site services to men and women, with the ability to serve up to 300 people.

It is a low-barrier shelter, which means clients don’t need to show that they’re alcohol or drug-free to use it.

The site, which is still being designed, will include options for medical and mental health care, substance abuse counseling, permanent housing services, case management and other services. Security will patrol 24/7 within a half mile of the area.

Catholic Charities will maintain the current site on West Pacific to support clients and people who live at the nearby Catholic Charities apartments.

The organization will keep the upstairs sleeping area intact so it could be used for additional shelter space during emergencies.

It’s not clear when the project will start construction and be ready to open.

Catholic Charities says the project has been in the works with the City of Spokane since last November.