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Regional News

City of Spokane Opens New Shelter To Replace Temporary Arena Facility

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

A new shelter that was created to provide extra space during the Covid pandemic has opened its doors in north central Spokane.

It takes the place of a temporary shelter that has housed people in part of the Spokane Arena.

Spokane County bought this building with federal CARES Act money. The new shelter occupies the second floor of the former Spokane Housing Authority office on Mission Avenue, just west of Division. Cots for about 100 people are strategically placed six feet apart in an open, airy space with lots of windows.

The facility will be operated by the Salvation Army and Major Ken Perine.

“We’ve got to keep people separated and wearing their masks. They’re getting medical checkups. We’re having folks come in to help us with that, to check our guests and see if they’re sick, to provide a good place for them to go. We actually have a small room we’re using for isolation here in case someone tests positive, but also, as part of that same process, we’re just helping people stay healthy," he said.

Perine says the Salvation Army will have meals brought in three times a day for people who stay here. He says it will also look to help people find drug and alcohol abuse or mental health counseling, if they need it. The goal, he says, is to help them move forward in their lives.

After the pandemic eases enough to allow more freedom of movement, he says his organization will look to provide more shelter beds and services on the first floor of this two-story building.

He says the Salvation Army will provide security and operate this shelter like its other facility for people who are homeless not far from this one. That means the guests will be asked to stay inside or in an adjacent outdoor space and not wander around the neighborhood.