Plan for new homeless shelter concerns Logan Square businesses, nearby homeowners

SPOKANE, Wash. — The City of Spokane is backtracking on what appeared to be a done deal: using the empty building on 55 West Mission as a homeless shelter.

Now, after several people complained and expressed their concerns for the area’s safety, the city has decided to hear them out. There will be a neighborhood zoom meeting Thursday at 3 p.m. to discuss those concerns.

“We have got to make sure that the neighborhood, the people living in the neighborhood and the businesses feel safe and secure,” Spokane City Councilwoman Karen Stratton said.

Stratton said this is usually a decision that would require public opinion. But, because the money is coming from the county, those public meetings hadn’t happened yet.

Local business owners are also concerned about the shelter reaching capacity which would leave the homeless lingering outside.

Stratton said this building would not end up like that.

“I’m feeling more confident, and I’m willing to stand up and make sure that it doesn’t,” she said.

Instead, Stratton believes it would serve as a temporary option, holding 60 people max and limiting their stay to a certain amount of days. She said it would be a hub for people to handle their case management and job prep among other resources.

“This would actually be helping people get back on their feet, so it would be more organized,” Stratton said.

This isn’t the first time the City has faced backlash for the purchase of a possible shelter. Just last July, the City bought the old Grocery Outlet building on Sprague for the homeless, but public disapproval was one reason why those plans fell through.

READ: Spokane Co. to use $2M of CARES Act funds to buy new homeless shelter, renovate Cannon St. shelter

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