‘It’s starting to get better’: New leadership at Trent Resource and Assistance Center brings changes

SPOKANE, Wash. — About 270 people are now staying at the Trent Resource and Assistance Center. It’s been a few weeks since the Salvation Army took over operations.

The Guardians organization was running the center prior but the city of Spokane cut ties as the organization deals with a fraud and embezzlement investigation.

The Salvation Army says there’s a specific way it runs its shelters. Since the change in leadership, people have received new blankets, sheets and towels.

The Salvation Army says soon people will be sleeping on better, quality steel beds. The organization says it’s also fixing shower units and bringing in additional ones.

“We have a certain standard for how we do stuff, and so this speed at which we can get there has been a little bit of a challenge, but I know that we’re going to rise to the occasion to get folks to the level that we typically do in any shelter environment,” Spokane Salvation Army Major Ken Perine said.

Brent StandingRock has been at the TRAC for about a month.

“I’m here because of my wife because she’s pregnant. I’m here just because of her. If she wasn’t here I wouldn’t be here,” StandingRock said.

StandingRock says he’s noticing the changes since the Salvation Army took over.

“It’s starting to get better. We eat really good now. They’re going to put in showers. They’re going to put in steel beds. They’re going to do a lot since the Salvation Army took over,” StandingRock said.

StandingRock says he should be getting into permanent housing in the next couple of weeks. He says the center is still recovering from bad habits involving it’s past leadership.

“That’s what was happening here. The leaders were acting up going around cussing, starting fights and stuff so everyone in the shelter started doing that now there’s fights almost every day,” he said.

Under the Salvation Army’s leadership, there’s now full time security through Go Patrol.

It’s also making way for more offices, and a place partners can use to connect with people through two new trailers.

“Those are all the things that are going to raise the level of care for the folks there coming in here. We want them to feel like this is their home to them but not their forever home to them,” Perine  said.

Major Perine says he wants to implement The Way Out program which is designed for adults who are serious about getting out of homelessness to find permanent housing and employment.

READ: Spokane County invests $500k to bring in new resources to Trent Shelter