Spokane’s shelters safely increase capacity ahead of unseasonably cold weather

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane’s shelters are preparing to house more people ahead of this weekend’s unseasonably cold weather. 

The City of Spokane says shelter operators are increasing their capacities to house at least 85 more people on a nightly basis over the next few days. Temperatures are expected to drop into the 30s this weekend, with snow forecasted for Friday. 

In preparation, the City says it’s worked with Truth Ministries to temporarily cover the $2 fee required for overnight stay. 

Shelters are also working to expand capacity while meeting COVID-19 guidelines. 

Union Gospel Mission’s Men’s Shelter is set to offer 12 sleeping spaces when temperatures drop below freezing. The Salvation Army’s The Way Out Shelter will also offer an additional 18 spaces. According to the City, the combination of new spaces and removal of restrictions on others makes 120 low-barrier spaces for those in need. 

The additional space will be provided until the shelter on Cannon Street opens.

Renovations at Cannon Street are expected to be finished by early November, adding accommodations for an additional 80 people. The City says it’s currently reviewing proposals from potential shelter operators. 

READ: Spokane Co. to use $2M of CARES Act funds to buy new homeless shelter, renovate Cannon St. Shelter

“The community has really stepped up to help people who need temporary shelter escape the early cold snap,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said. “Their generosity and compassion removes barriers for those who need a warm place to sleep in over the next several days.”