Marlene Feist, 509.625.6505
Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 3:04 p.m.
The City of Spokane today announced that the next warming center to assist those experiencing homelessness will open on Friday, Dec. 7. The center, at Salem Lutheran Church in the West Central neighborhood, will have space for up to 60 men and women. The opening follows the addition of a warming center on South Cannon that occurred on December 1 and can accommodate up to 40 individuals.
“These centers provide critical overnight shelter for vulnerable individuals in our community during the winter months,” says Dawn Kinder, the City’s Division Director of Neighborhood & Business Services. “Open spaces for men or women at the West Cannon shelter and for women at the House of Charity have been available throughout the week. We want to encourage folks to take advantage of these services.”
Work has been on-going to open warming centers for those experiencing homelessness. In addition to the two centers opening in December, the City has approved additional warming center contracts with Open Doors for families with dependent children, and with Women’s Hearth and Hope House for adult women. These locations also provide nightly accommodations to provide people with reliable safe spaces during the cold weather months. A couple of other sites are in development that could bring up to another 140 warming center spaces, if needed.
The City has been working to advance additional options for those experiencing homelessness during the cold weather once it was determined House of Charity (HOC) capacity would change. The City immediately began discussions and supporting the need for a warming center program for the winter months. The City has committed $1 million to establish the warming center network.
In addition to supporting a Warming Centers program for the 2018-19 winter season, the City provides ongoing operational support to 14 emergency shelter and transitional housing projects and is actively working with community partners to advance the targeted-capacity shelter system. Citizens interested in helping are encouraged to consider participating in or donating to the 2019 Everybody Counts Campaign.