Spokane City Council members frustrated over stalled homeless shelter plan

Spokane City Council members frustrated over stalled homeless shelter plan
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Spokane City Council meeting September 23

Spokane City Council members were set to approve a $240,000 contract with the Salvation Army to staff a city homeless shelter. The vote was deferred and it’s still not clear where the city shelter will be.

With colder weather on the way, council members are running out of time. They want to avoid what happened in 2018 when warming centers filled up ad some homeless people were left out in the cold.

“We’re in the middle of a situation — I would call it a crisis,” said council member Karen Stratton. “We’re coming into cold weather, and we have nothing solid, we have no plan for a permanent shelter which was the initial goal.”

City officials had looked at buying the old Grocery Outlet store on East Sprague and turning it into a shelter — they got a lot of backlash from neighbors and a non-profit in the area. Now, those plans seem to be off the table.

Stratton and Council President Ben Stuckart both pointed fingers at Mayor Condon and his administration saying they are not doing enough.

“The administration has sat back and watched this slow down to a halt, and here we sit, we all want the same thing,” Stratton said.

Stratton publicly asked Condon and his team to give council members a progress report at the next meeting.