City Negotiating Lease to Open On-Demand Shelter

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 at 1:18 p.m.

Mayor Nadine Woodward announced today that the City is negotiating a lease to open a new on-demand night-by-night homeless shelter with wrap-around services in east Spokane.

The proposed shelter building, located at 4320 E. Trent, has more than 33,000 square feet of indoor space. It will serve adult men and women and operate 24 hours a day. Proposals from potential contract shelter operators are undergoing final review. Both the lease and shelter operator contract are subject to City Council approval.

“Spokane is in agreement that a sidewalk, field, or vehicle out in the elements is not a healthy or humane place for anyone,” Woodward said. “We are adding hundreds of new spaces for people to sleep indoors, connect to critical services, and take that next step toward stability.”

City Council members recently toured the potential shelter location and the City began talking to neighbors last week about the proposed new shelter. The location meets the criteria Woodward established: it’s outside of the downtown core, on a bus line, away from a school or daycare, and not in a residential neighborhood.

An opening date is dependent upon reaching agreement on a lease and completion of tenant improvements. The City is also finalizing a set of neighborhood expectations that will guide conduct, communication, and relationships with neighbors. Those are expected to be published prior to opening the shelter.

“It is critical that operation of the shelter is based on mutual respect for guests, providers, neighbors, and businesses,” Councilmember Michael Cathcart said. “Partnership is how we deliver the best outcomes for everyone.”

“Communication will be integral to successful operation of this new shelter,” Councilmember Jonathan Bingle said. “This location is a great opportunity to meet everyone’s needs.”

About 100 locations have been evaluated as potential spots for temporary shelter space since last summer. The City has been closely evaluating this space over the past three months and is working to come to an agreement on a lease.

Over the past 18 months, the City has partnered with regional governments and providers to add more low-barrier space for women, men, and young adults, bridge housing for men and women, and 24-hour shelter space while also meeting pandemic needs for social distancing. The City Council also approved Woodward’s budget request to add another permanent low-barrier shelter location outside of the downtown core. That search is ongoing.