Jeff Humphrey, Media Content Coordinator, 509.625.6308
Friday, November 10, 2017 at 2:06 p.m.
Spokane is trying to speed up its response to people experiencing homelessness by directing all concerns or complaints to one centralized reporting system.
City officials hope if you see a transient camp taking shape in one of our parks or neighborhoods that you will dial 3-1-1.
“So with the homeless encampments what we’ve been seeing is people reporting to all sorts of different places which is great, but that means calls are also getting forwarded and that can create a lag in responding,” explained Carly Cortright of My Spokane 311.
Up until now, calls about illegal camping or panhandling went to police, code enforcement, even members of the City Council.
Instead, if you call 3-1-1, customer service representatives know just the right questions to ask so the camp can be located and cleaned up.
“So by having it centralized to My 311, that means we get all the information we need that first time and we can send it to that outreach team, so we can get going in that process all in one place. It makes for a much more streamlined, faster response,” said Cortright.
Your call to My 311 triggers a visit to the camp by outreach workers who offer the people staying there information about Spokane’s around-the-clock shelters and other services.
Spokane police are also dispatched to the camp and post a sign warning everyone they’ve got 48 hours to pack up their belongings.
By using 3-1-1 as a centralized reporting center, the city agencies trying to find solutions to our homeless problem can better track their progress.
As the weather turns cold and wet… your call to My 311 about a camp could also help save lives.