Update 5:29 P.M
KHQ has obtained the request to Jewels Helping Hands to vacate the warming center. The City says they recived some allegations about someone on the board and are investigating.
Read the full letter to Jewels Helping Hands below:
Earlier this morning the City of Spokane received some very concerning allegations about an officer on the Jewel’s Helping Hands board. City staff are working expeditiously to investigate the allegations. As such, and until the investigation is complete, operations at 527 S. Cannon site must stop and the building needs to be vacated immediately. We ask that you lock the doors and either return the key to the front desk security at City Hall or put them through the mail slot at the building after it is secured. We intend to complete this investigation as soon as possible acknowledging the need to have a warming center operational and open to the public as soon as the building is up to code. We will contact you with the next steps moving forward.
Thank you for your patience as we work through this,
Update 3:49 P.M.
Jewels Helping Hands tells KHQ they are refusing to vacate the property, despite a city request.
They also released a statement that reads:
Spokane, we were alerted by the media today that the City released a statement indicating that Jewels
Helping Hands has been asked to vacate the Cannon warming center. The city cites new “alleged
concerns” which are completely false and baseless.
Jewels Helping Hands has a signed contract with the City to operate the Cannon warming center, we are
not in breach of this contract and the city’s notice to vacate is unjustifiable.
Jewels Helping Hands team has spent countless hours preparing the warming center for operations,
hiring staff and responding and complying with every request the City has made of us throughout this
process. Jewels Helping Hands has been dedicated to open the warming center to the 80 vulnerable
people it will serve to ensure their safety, health and wellbeing is addressed as soon as possible.
On multiple occasions Jewels Helping Hands has learned information concerning the warming center
from the media as the City has failed to communicate directly as contractually obligated. Throughout
this process the City has consistently created barriers, roadblocks and unnecessary delays. This is yet
another slanderous attempt to derail Jewels Helping Hands operating a warming center.
We remain committed to our community and vulnerable population experiencing homelessness
enduring the additional pain and suffering caused by the City delays.
SPOKANE, Wash. - The charity Jewels Helping Hands, which had been put in charge of operating Spokane's newest warming center, has been asked to vacate the location as an evaluation is conducted.
According to the City of Spokane, the evaluation is proceeding after "an additional serious concern related to the background of one of the nonprofit's corporate officers has been raise to the City."
Initial concerns were raised regarding founder Jason Green's background with embezzlement. However, according to the City, the new concerns are regarding a separate case.
"The goal is to ensure that vulnerable citizens and taxpayer dollars are protected," the City said in a press release.
The City is still aiming to have the South Cannon facility open no later than November 22.
Julie Garcia with Jewels Helping Hands, gave the following statement:
"The allegations are false and we have not violated any part of our contract. We will continue running operations as planned until our contract has been pulled or recognized as broken. We are going to focus solely on helping the homeless people that are sleeping on the streets as of this moment."
The South Cannon Center is expected to serve 60 to 80 adults initially and up to 120 over time.