Committee recommends the Guardians Foundation operates new E. Trent shelter

SPOKANE, Wash. – An independent committee is recommending the Guardians Foundation operate the new flex capacity homeless shelter on East Trent Avenue. 

The recommendation comes after the city had to restart its selection process. A new search began in early May after conflict of interest concerns arose in April. Members of the regional Continuum of Care board, who were parties to one of the previous proposals, participated in a discussion about which proposal to recommend.

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The Spokane City Council will be briefed about the new recommendation and a proposed lease for the shelter during their meeting Monday. 

Mayor Nadine Woodward has approved moving forward with the recommendation to the council. The cost to operate the shelter and other details will be determined through a contract negotiation process. 

If approved, the operator will manage the 24/7, 36,046-square-foot facility at 4320 E. Trent Ave. The city estimates that 150 beds will be used every day, but the shelter will be able to scale up to 250 beds on demand. There will also be additional surge capacity in inclement weather situations. 

The Trent Ave shelter will feature additional space for a variety of services, including addiction and behavioral health, as well as housing and unemployment services. 

“We all agree that sidewalks, alleyways, and fields are not safe or humane places for people struggling with behavioral health, addiction, and other challenges to sleep,” Woodward said. “The goal of the City and its regional partners is to make homeless rare, brief and non-recurring and adding this safe place to sleep out of the elements is about building trust so people feel comfortable with taking that next step in their journey toward permanent housing.”

The proposed lease between the City and Lawrence B. Stone properties is for a five-year term with a monthly rent of $26,100. It will include provisions for utilities and services; maintenance and repair; insurance; alterations; signs and more. It also includes tenant improvements to be made by both the City and landlord.

The City Council is expected to vote on the operator and lease later this month.