Local News

Vote on ordinance to allow homeless in city hall deferred again

SPOKANE, Wash. - A vote on an ordinance to allow people to spend as long as they want in the City Hall lobby has been deferred again. 

The ordinance was originally proposed in November, but has been deferred multiple times. That's because the union that represents the City Hall employees has been looking into safety impacts of the ordinance. The union finally gave the go-ahead and a vote was scheduled to happen Monday.

According to City Councilwoman Kate Burke, who proposed the ordinance, not enough members of city council attended Monday's meeting to hold a vote. 

Monday's meeting was not held at city hall, and was instead held in the form of a town hall meeting at the East Central Community Center. 

The ordinance is Burke's attempt to help address homelessness in Spokane. 

"It seems we have a lack of places for people to go during the day. And that's been kind of a hard ship on a lot of these folks," Burke said.

Currently, people are not allowed to stay in the City Hall lobby for more than an hour. Under the new proposal, they could stay inside as long as the building is open. 

"I hope that our city council can see that this is a great opportunity for us to show our compassion and that we are actually "Spokind" and bring everyone together," Burke said.

She also says this won't affect safety, because people still can be removed from the building. 

"The same rules apply to everybody. If you're disrupting anybody, or loud, obnoxious, anything like that, you can be asked to leave," she said.

A vote on the proposal is now expected to take place next week. 


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