Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.625.6308
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 2:54 p.m.
If you look around Spokane, it’s hard not to be impressed with all the improvements taking shape in our city.
Spokane is growing, attracting new businesses and jobs for our residents.
We’re taking better care of our streets, protecting our river. Spokane is literally on a roll.
However, some City Councilmembers worry not enough people are sharing in our good fortune.
“Despite all this progress, there are still too many people here in Spokane trying to survive every day while unhoused,” lamented Councilmember Breean Beggs.
Beggs recently hosted a City Cable 5 program called “Council Connection”.
“In this edition of Council Connection, we’re going to be talking about finding more solutions to one of Spokane’s most pressing problems. Our community needs to identify and support the programs and services that are helping people escape from life on the streets,” Beggs explained to his viewers.
Last year, the City of Spokane spent $13 million on programs to help people experiencing homelessness.
“We provide funding to non-profits that offer shelter and other services to people who need help getting back on their feet. One of the most unique providers is a group called Family Promise; one of the only shelters in Spokane that keeps homeless families together under one roof,” said Beggs.
Funding from the City of Spokane is also used trigger the development of new, affordable housing.
The City covered the cost of demolishing a nuisance home near First Avenue and Perry Street so a non-profit called Inland Empire Resources could build an affordable home for one of our veterans.
“This home is also a good example of infill development; which means taking vacant or underutilized property inside the city limits, and building new housing. With the help of my City Council colleagues, we’ve modified building restrictions to make it easier for developers to bring new life to these properties,” added Beggs.
Beggs feels the City of Spokane’s partnership with local non-profits is critical to helping people recover from addiction and homelessness.
Representatives from several of those non-profits answered questions from Beggs during a panel discussion.
They agreed that most people won’t be able to deal effectively with drug addiction or mental health problems until they have a roof over their heads, hence the need for more housing.
“Something that’s often overlooked in our discussions about homelessness is the human element. The people you see living on Spokane streets were born with the same hopes and dreams we all have, they’ve just gotten temporarily lost along the way,” Beggs emphasized.