The coldest temperatures of the fall are coming this weekend.
Spokane officials say they’re working with the city’s shelters to make extra space available.
City officials say they’re providing assistance for men who want to stay at the Truth Ministries shelter on East Sprague. The shelter charges them two dollars a night to help cover costs. With some reconfiguring, the city hopes the shelter can house an extra 55 men during the cold snap.
The city says the Union Gospel Mission’s men’s shelter expects to make available another dozen spaces. The Salvation Army’s Way Out shelter for adult men and women will have another 18.
Spokane Regional Health Officer Bob Lutz says teams from his agency and from CHAS are out each evening as the shelters open to check on the people who come in for the night.
“The nurses and staff from the health department were asking people questions. Are you having any symptoms around any exposures? Taking temperatures and trying to encourage people. We gave out masks," he said.
Even with those measures and with physical distancing in shelters, Lutz says he worries that people who are homeless will be especially vulnerable to Covid and the flu this fall and winter.
The city says the extra spaces will be open until it is able to open a renovated warming center on Cannon Street in early November.