Spokane City Council, City Hall

P/C: Spokesman Review

SPOKANE, Wash. - Two homeless housing programs were voted on Monday night by the Spokane City Council. The first is a five year commitment from the City to support operations at The Way Out Shelter. The second gives support for funding new homeless shelters or other low-income housing projects.

The Way Out Shelter decision was deferred again until the next council meeting. The other received full support.

But, what does this mean for you? Well, you could be seeing more shelter availability and low-income housing opportunities. This is an issue Mayor Nadine Woodward has been angling to fix since her campaign run. City Council voted 7-0 to support those future grant opportunities through the Department of Commerce. What would happen is the City would convert commercial or motel space to set up new homeless shelters or low-income housing projects.

The vote of support also means Crosswalk Youth Shelter, which houses kids 13-20 years old, will be able to continue in a new location. However, Brian Coddington with the City said it's very early on and these kind of projects won't happen anytime soon.

"It's a million dollars, and over a three-year commitment period, so a million dollars a year?" Coddington said. "So, the challenge is, those are ongoing operational expenses that now beyond the commitment, we have to figure out how to make that funding situation work."
 
The Way Out Shelter will be on the agenda for the next city council meeting, however, the shelter is set to open Nov. 1 and will need a comprehensive operating plan by then.