SPOKANE, Wash. - The old National Furniture store on Ermina is ready to open its doors again -- this time though, as a warming center for Spokane's homeless -- and those who work nearby are a little nervous about their new neighbors. They're worried the warming center will end up driving customers away.
Tammy Hull owns Litz's Bar and Grill, which stands right across the street from the warming center. Hull told KXLY she just found out about the center two days ago. She's still wrapping her head around it, but is hoping for the best.
Hull said in her 11 years at Litz's, some homeless people have come into the bar and yelled at her customers. She doesn't want to jump to any conclusions about the men and women who will be staying across the street, but she doesn't quite know what to expect this time around.
"That's what I'm trying not to do, is jump to conclusions and think this is going to be an absolute crap show. It could be something that's great," she said. "But, I don't know that because no one talked to us."
City spokesperson Marlene Feist told KXLY the center will be monitored and cleaned by Salvation Army volunteers, who will staff the building, everyday. Feist said those staying at the warming center can take their belongings inside each night. She said the city's warming centers are temporary, with the hopes of opening a second emergency shelter by next summer.
Starting at 8 p.m., the warming center will be open every night until 7 a.m. until the end of March.
Get your weather forecast from people that actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.
A foggy morning but a slightly warmer day expected Thursday
Top headlines to start your Wednesday
- Hillyard couple fed up with RV parked outside home, demands answers from city
- No charges to be filed against Spokane Police officer in July use of force incident
- Spokane Police Guild weighs in on crime, homeless crisis
- Homeowner speaks up after neighbors make complaints against him and his backyard
- Dog with tumor gets survivor scarf from WSU
- Police: College Place teen writes about killing mother, attacking high school