Spokane mayor asks city council’s help for next warming center

SPOKANE, Wash — As the Public Facilities District is working to clean up the estimated $95,000 in damages from the last emergency warming center, conversations about the next one are already happening.

During the Spokane City Council’s special meeting Thursday, the mayor asked council members for help.

“I am going to ask each one of you, in your districts to provide me with a list of 3 locations in your district, that we can use as shelters that have already been vetted out, and I will stand with you to do the community engagement on that,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said.

Both City Council Member, Karen Stratton and City Council President Breean Beggs said they were going to take the mayor up on her offer.

“I am willing to put my name behind some [buildings] so that people know if some people are upset about it, I’ll take the heat for it,” Beggs said.

He explained the city has demonstrated they can run shelters well without any complaints, like the Way Out Shelter and Hope House.

The Convention Center, at the time, he said was necessary but can serve as a lesson for the next time.

“We had to do that to save lives, but that is not the ideal, he said. “You really don’t want 100 people in one location.”

He said ideally, there would be no more than 60 to 70 people in a space, and there would be no carpet.

“It’s unrealistic to expect you’ll find a building that nobody will be upset with, that’s unrealistic,” Beggs said. “Somebody is going to be upset, because they’re imagining the worst possible scenario

Right now the Public Facilities District has the ballrooms closed for the next two weeks for cleaning, but that could take longer.

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