City to restart selection process for provider of new homeless shelter

New Homeless Shelter
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. — The City of Spokane will restart its process of selecting a provider to operate a new night-by-night drop-in shelter.

The city says actions from third parties created a conflict of interest and a breach of the selection process.

Members of the Continuum of Care board participated in a board discussion on April 15 about which proposal to recommend. This violated the board’s conflict of interest policy, plus three proposals were shared outside the board evaluators before the board had completed its process, according to the city.

“Homelessness and the process of selecting a provider to meet the basic shelter needs of those in crisis is an emotionally charged challenge the City has been working exhaustively to meet,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said. “It’s really disheartening to get this far and to have it disrupted by even the potential appearance of outside influence in this competitive process.”

The Continuum of Care board was asked to review proposals for a shelter operator on March 10, however the voting and recommendation process was never completed. City staff raised concerns about the integrity of the selection process on Monday and Tuesday.

“The decision to start over was the right one even if it was extremely difficult because it potentially delays the opening of needed additional shelter space and hurts those who need help the most,” Woodward said.

The decision to restart the process has been communicated to proposers. Details about the restarted process and timeline will be announced soon.

READ: Spokane City Council strikes down ordinance change on proposed shelter