Spokane City Council votes to use $3.5 million from ARPA to fund homeless shelters

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane City Council unanimously approved a resolution to prioritize the city’s budget to fund local homeless shelters.

The resolution passed with a 6-0 vote.

The Spokane City Council plans to use $3.5 million from the American Rescue Plan Act for operational needs at Spokane homeless shelters.

The resolution requests that homeless administrations work with the City Council to distribute the funds appropriately and evenly.

“City Council acted to reverse the Mayor’s proposal to cut funding to existing homeless shelter operators by $1.5 million next year,” said Council President Breean Beggs. “I believe that we should prioritize our existing limited funds towards keeping our trusted long-time partners like Hope House open before we consider adding new beds. The City will continue to work towards opening more permanently affordable beds and keeping warming space open during these challenging times.”

Some of these ARP funds will go to Hope House Women’s Shelter, which was at risk of shutting down due to lack of funding.

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The resolution supports funding with providers under city contracts, along with expanded shelter operations that weren’t in place for the entirety of 2022.