Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740
Thursday, December 23, 2021 at 12:57 p.m.
With extreme cold weather in the forecast after Christmas, the City is opening a temporary, short-term center and reminding the public of the services available for those experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable citizens.
The City, in partnership with the Public Facilities District and The Guardians Foundation, will open a temporary 24-hour drop-in center at the Convention Center beginning Sunday at 12 pm. It is scheduled to run through Jan. 2 at 12 pm depending on weather. The location will be co-ed, accept animals, and is intended to supplement during the extreme cold snap the enhancements already embedded into the system over the past several months. Meals will be provided.
“Extreme situations call for a compassionate community solution that brings people out of the elements,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said. “The City is fortunate to have built relationships with partners who are willing to meet emergent needs.”
Operation of the temporary drop-in center is expected to cost as much as $100,000. Space is being planned for 150 people and can be scaled. Donations of non-perishable food, socks, hats, gloves, and hand warmers should be delivered to Cannon Street Shelter at 527 S. Cannon St.
Temperatures are forecast to drop dramatically starting on Sunday, Dec. 26, with below zero temperatures expected at times. Local shelter service providers are also prepared to accommodate additional guests as a result of the extreme cold. The Spokane Fire Department, meanwhile, will complete wellness checks of vulnerable individuals who are out in the weather.
“It takes a community effort to meet the need,” Woodward said.
Woodward announced a plan in July 2020 to move the City toward a regional model of meeting homelessness needs, introduce greater system consistency and predictability, and flex for short-term surge capacity as needed.
In recent months, the City:
During the winter months, community members can warm up at the City libraries during the day.
“When the weather is extremely cold, we recommend that our citizens be proactive in ensuring that they keep themselves, their loved ones and their pets safe,” says Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer. “We want everyone in our community to have a healthy holiday season.”
First responders and public health officials are also offering tips for citizens for the cold weather:
Here is additional information on extreme cold from the Spokane Regional Health District.