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Regional News

Council, Mayor Try To Find Common Ground On Overnight Shelter

Some Spokane city council members held a press conference Wednesday to call attention to the need for an overnight shelter for the homeless.

Council President Ben Stuckart says the issue is highlighted by the fact the weather forecast is calling for cold temperatures and possibly snow by Saturday.

“We have 700 shelter beds, but there are 1,300 people experiencing homelessness in our community and it’s going to be cold out. It’s really disappointing to me. The council for the last year has said we need another shelter. The administration has promised by July 1 we would have another permanent shelter opened. That still hasn’t happened,” Stuckart said.

Mayor David Condon has outlined the steps he has prepared to help with the situation, including funding in his new proposed budget.

“It does allocate $1 million for emergency shelters. We also are funding the Envision Center, so going upstream a little bit,” Condon said.

The mayor has hoped to gain council support for a contract with the Salvation Army to operate a new shelter. That proposal was not approved at Monday’s Council meeting, but the council plans to revisit the issue next week.