SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane City Council has named the Salvation Army as the operator of a proposed new homeless shelter and possible warming centers. However, a physical location for the shelter has not yet been determined.
Council President Ben Stuckart said the Monday vote allows the council and the Salvation Army to get the ball rolling. The council still needs to sign leases and contracts, as well as approve funding for shelter operations.
The council also approved a resolution Monday that forces the council to figure funding for the shelter when the time comes.
The city is scrambling to make a decision on a location for the shelter as cold weather approaches. Over the weekend, city shelters filled quickly as an unusual cold front moved in. Some shelters even reached capacity. As a result, police said there were some people that slept outside Friday night.
In July, the city council unanimously approved the purchase of the old Grocery Outlet building on East Sprague. However, nothing has been done to the site yet.
Three out of the four emergency warming centers from last year will not reopen. However, Mayor David Condon said there is a plan in the works.
Condon said he was touring possible locations for the shelter and warming centers with the Salvation Army last week.
Condon said the plan is to find a location and quickly finalize a new shelter that would accommodate up to 60 people, as well as open two warming locations that would fit up to 150 people.
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