City of Spokane

The mayor of Spokane has released her proposal for the fiscal 2022 budget. It’s about 11% higher than this year’s budget.

Spokane Must Now Open Cooling Centers at 95 Degrees

Jul 13, 2021
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Cooling Centers opened in Spokane Public Libraries and at the Looff Carousel today and will be open until the temperature drops below 95 degrees.

The cooling centers re-opened after the Spokane City Council updated an ordinance outlining when the city needs to provide shelter – during heat, winter and smoke events.

Councilwoman Lori Kinnear called on the mayor’s administration to plan ahead for those events, which are likely to become more common due to the worsening climate crisis.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

As temperatures approach record levels, the city of Spokane will open the Looff Carrousel in Riverfront Park as well as public libraries to those with no other option to escape the heat.

Rebecca White/SPR

Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward has chosen an outside advisor to assist her in addressing homelessness. This is a response to the resignations of several leaders in the city's Neighborhood, Housing and Human Services Department.

According to a news release Tuesday, Woodward has chosen Chris Patterson as a senior advisor on homeless issues. Patterson founded a mental health treatment service for youth and has worked under former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

He also grew up in Spokane in foster care.

Rebecca White/SPR

At the beginning of the pandemic, when the nation faced rampant unemployment, both landlord and tenant advocates predicted a tsunami of housing issues would overwhelm the courts, homeless, and housing services.

Those advocates are hoping that millions in rental assistance and several tenant laws that go into effect this summer in Washington could resolve that anticipated wave of evictions. But many fear that help won’t be ready in time.

Rebecca White/SPR

The city is changing several of the homeless services it offers, remodeling its newest shelter on Mission Avenue and opening the Cannon Street shelter year-round.

Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward announced several updates to how the city responds to homelessness at a presser Thursday. She said the city’s newest shelter on Mission Avenue is being remodeled into a service center which will help people staying there get into long term housing, instead of continuing as a night by night shelter.

Wikimedia Commons

The city of Spokane Valley is preparing to add more restrictions to its camping code, which bars people from living, or storing their belongings on public property.

The original ordinance is more than a year old, and city officials have never issued a citation or a ticket, said Morgan Koudelka, the senior analyst who manages the city’s homeless policy.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane is slowly, but surely making progress on protecting its homeless population from the coronavirus.

Kylie Kingsbury, the homeless outreach coordinator for the Spokane Regional Health District said 184 vaccines had been given at homeless shelters since the end of January.

Courtesy of Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington

Many of the housing options for people who are homeless in Spokane are aimed at people who live alone. Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington on Wednesday highlighted its new project for families struggling to maintain homes.

Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington laid the cornerstone of their newest property, a supported community for families struggling with homelessness.

Spokane City Launches Covid Relief Money Survey

Jul 21, 2020
City of Spokane

Spokane city officials today [Tuesday] launched a new survey to ask residents how the city should spend its federal coronavirus relief money.

Mayor Nadine Woodward says the city received $6.6 million in CARES Act money.

Spokane COVID Response

Spokane city officials expect to add — by early next week — a new temporary facility to the inventory of shelters available to people who are homeless. It’s one of two measures that will be taken to provide help for sick people with few resources.

Mayor Nadine Woodward announced today [Wednesday] that the city is configuring its soon-to-be-renovated downtown library into a place that can house at least 100 people. This is intended to provide more physical space between people in the shelters.

Spokane Homeless Coalition

More than 100 social agencies and other vendors served people at Spokane’s annual Homeless Connect event Thursday in the Convention Center.

“There’s a food bank. There’s a clothing bank. They can get a free meal while they’re here. They’re doing hepatitis screening right now. EPI Pharmaceutical is here with their bus,” said Maurice Smith, a spokesman for the Spokane Homeless Coalition.

Community Health Association of Spokane

An event to mark National Homeless Persons Memorial Day was held in Spokane Friday.

The names of 76 people who died in Spokane this year who had no place to call their own were read out loud at an event downtown. Participants came forward and placed a bell with that person’s name on a small Christmas tree.

The audience heard how the homeless, on average, can expect to live 30 fewer years than those who have permanent housing.

Spokane VOA

The city of Spokane and Volunteers of America have received nearly a million dollars to fund services for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.

The money will help social service providers identify young people in public schools and behavioral health treatment programs who are experiencing homelessness, as well as to provide resources for housing.

City of Spokane

Tuesday on the Inland Journal podcast, we talk with Spokane’s outgoing Mayor David Condon. Every two months, we visit the mayor in his office and ask him about some of the issues of the day. This time, among other things, we talk about the 2020 budget he has proposed. We ask about his support for a new city shelter for people who are homeless and the debate about homelessness in general and about lessons learned to pass on his successor.

Spokane Valley Event To Serve People Who Are Homeless

Sep 12, 2019
Spokane Homeless Coalition

A Spokane Valley group is bringing more than 40 service providers under one roof Friday to help people who are homeless and in need.

Inland Journal, Aug. 8, 2019: Adult and Teen Challenge

Aug 8, 2019
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Today on the Inland Journal podcast, we focus on an organization that’s working to help homeless men in Spokane: Adult and Teen Challenge.

Tyson West is its executive director in Spokane. He welcomes us to this 32-acre campus north of U.S. Highway 2 in Airway Heights. It’s a few miles northeast of Fairchild Air Force Base.

Spokane Council Votes To Buy Building For New Shelter

Jul 1, 2019

The Spokane City Council has voted to begin the process of buying an east Spokane grocery store to remodel as a new shelter. It’s a place where the city hopes to provide services to childless couples who are homeless.


Monday on the Inland Journal podcast, Maurice Smith from the Spokane Homeless Coalition tells us about his new documentary series about the city’s homeless population, “My Road Leads Home”. Smith says his film takes a different approach than the “Seattle is Dying” program that has gained a lot of attention in the Emerald City. He says he’s trying to create a new narrative about homelessness here.


A new ordinance that was designed to allow the homeless a place to stay during the daytime in Spokane City Hall has been vetoed by Mayor David Condon.

City of Spokane

Spokane officials released results of the annual Point-in-Time count of the homeless population on Wednesday.

The data seem to indicate progress is being made in specific areas in reducing that population.

SPR Homeless Call-In Program, March 26, 2019

Mar 27, 2019
Chris Maccini, SPR

SPR's Doug Nadvornick hosted a live call-in program on the topic of homesless. The guests included Marty McKinney from Truth Ministries, Spokane Mayor David Condon and Tim Sigler, Tim Sigler Senior Manager of the Community, Housing and Human Services Department for the City of Spokane.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Tuesday on the Inland Journal podcast, on the day when we invite Spokane Mayor David Condon into our studio to talk about homelessness, we meet with Jeff Keizer. Keizer came to Spokane about four months ago from northern California. He attended SPR’s homelessness forum last week and shared with one of our staff members his own story about being homeless in Spokane. We followed up to ask him about his experience.

A Conversation With One Homeless Man In Spokane

Mar 25, 2019
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Tonight [Tuesday], we’ll air two hours of discussion about homelessness in Spokane.

During the first hour, from 6-to-7 pm, Doug Nadvornick will talk with Spokane Mayor David Condon and Marty McKinney from the Truth Ministries shelter for men. Then, at 7, we’ll air the first hour of our homelessness forum, recorded last week at Spokane City Hall.

Next month, the city is expected to release the results from its January homeless census, which was conducted in January. Past counts identified between a thousand and 1,500 people homeless at any one time in Spokane.

One of them is Jeff Keizer.

As part of its “Confronting Homelessness” series of public forums, Spokane Public Radio hosted a live call-in program to discuss the current state of homelessness in the Inland Northwest as well as future initiatives. 

The program was broadcast live on KPBX 91.1 FM and KSFC 91.9, and streamed online at SpokanePublicRadio.org.

Today on the Inland Journal podcast, I talk with my colleague Steve Jackson about tonight’s [Wednesday’s] SPR public forum on homelessness at Spokane City Hall. Steve is the host. There are lots of people involved in the discussion so he has put together two panels. They’ll talk about providing services to homeless people, but they’ll also talk about affordable housing for low-income people and efforts to create more of it. Also, we’ll hear about how food pantries are used to feed hungry students at Eastern Washington University.

Doug Nadvornick

A small cottage village in northwest Spokane is providing shelter to some formerly homeless people.

There are 24 cottages just off Northwest Boulevard in Spokane built by the organization Transitions, which works with the homeless community to find shelter, and provide job training and other services.

Transitions Executive Director Edie Rice-Sauer says the group had toyed with various ideas on how to use the two-acre property, including a community garden or orchard, but thought actual housing would be the best use.

A Visit To Spokane's Truth Ministries Shelter For Men

Feb 6, 2019
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Two weeks ago I was out covering the beginning of Spokane’s annual Point-in-Time count of the homeless population. I went to the Truth Ministries facility in east Spokane. It’s a place where men can congregate at night, eat dinner, conk out on a bunk bed, then get up early and head out to start another day.

“We’re not really a homeless shelter. We want to get out there that we’re not enabling these guys by just giving them a bed. We are actually helping them to get back on their feet,” said Chris Turner, the lead volunteer on the front desk.

A new consortium is hoping to help reduce homelessness in Washington state, or at least give more folks the opportunity to have their own homes.

The Unlock the Door Coalition is comprised of both for-profit and non-profit groups that have several specific goals they are presenting lawmakers in Olympia this session to help reduce the lack of housing opportunities in the state.