SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane will move ahead with Jewels Helpings Hands as the operator of the South Cannon Street warming center, despite asking the non-profit to vacate the facility on Friday.
The city ordered Jewels Helping Hands to vacate the premises following what they said were "new allegations."
Earlier this month, questions were raised regarding owner Jason Green’s criminal history. He pleaded guilty to embezzling from his former employer.
The city said additional allegations came to light on Friday, but has not detailed what those allegations entail.
Green and his partner Julie Garcia refused to vacate the warming shelter site, saying they complied with the city’s contract.
Kirstin Davis with the City of Spokane said, despite the recent events, the city and Jewels Helping Hands are still working to have the shelter open by November 22.
Davis said Jewels Helping Hands must meet a few requirements in order to do so:
- Complete the required policies and procedures that will define the center’s operations
- Work with Homeless Management Information Systems staff to develop an easy-to-use format for necessary data reporting
- Provide proof of the required insurance policies listed in the contract with the city
“The City, for its part, is proceeding with the tenant improvements and changes needed to meet life-safety codes to allow the center to open as quickly as possible. The City is proceeding with its review into various concerns that have been raised, but the initial review into these matters shows the concerns raised would not preclude the contract from going forward,” the city said in a release.
Jewels Helping Hands responded with a statement of their own Monday, saying their team plans to meet those three requirements within 24 hours.
"We really appreciate the City acknowledging the 'concerns' raised last week do not preclude the contract moving forward," the team said in their statement. "We are working with the city to confirm the timeline for building improvements that they are arranging. We are committed to working with the City to bring people out of the cold as quickly as possible."
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