Woodward announces new special advisor to help focus on housing, homelesness

View of downtown Spokane from the Ronald McDonald House
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. — Mayor Nadine Woodward has announced a new special advisor to help focus on housing and homelessness in Spokane. 

Chris Patterson, who grew up in the local foster care system, will advise the mayor on human services considerations. Patterson served two years as a regional administrator under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is the founder of BreakThrough, a resource for young people needing individualized treatment and structure. 

“Chris has extensive leadership and lived experience that shaped and molded a direct, compassionate, and collaborative approach that has earned him the respect and support of leaders nationwide with diverse backgrounds,” Woodward said. 

In his role, Patterson will work closely with the Neighborhoods, Housing and Human Services division on its plans around housing and homelessness. 

The announcement of Patterson’s hiring comes on the heels of a shake up in the department. This past week, outgoing NHHS Director Cupid Alexander accused City Administrator Johnnie Perkins of mistreating him because of his race. 

Alexander is the third person within the department to leave in recent weeks. 

Woodward also announced Tuesday that Kirstin Davis, Communications Manager for NHHS, will assume a temporary role as acting deputy director. Spokesman Brian Coddington said this move is to help with continuity within the department as Alexander prepares to leave at the end of July. 

A release from Woodward’s office said recruitment is underway to fill Alexander’s role, as well as the open senior program manager person. 

“We heard very clearly that they need immediate leadership support as the division focuses on improving the livability for everyone in our community,” Woodward said. 

RELATED: Spokane NHHS Director accuses City Administrator of mistreatment due to race