SPOKANE, Wash. -- Spokane area charity "Blessings Under the Bridge" is searching for a new distribution location, according to Spokane city leaders. This follows more than a month of discussions between city officials and the organization.
While calls to Blessings Under the Bridge went unanswered, Director of Community and Neighborhood Services Jonathan Mallahan described the ongoing negotiations as "collaborative in nature" and "progressing well."
The city of Spokane first gave notice to Blessings Under the Bridge on May 12, 2017, saying the organization's philanthropic measures were leading to encampments underneath the I-90 overpass Downtown, along with alleged aggressive behavior and loitering. At that time, the city gave a 120 day deadline to relocate. The city now plans to treat this deadline with leniency and will not strictly enforce it provided Blessings Under the Bridge continues to actively seek a new site. It has also given advance permission for several winter and summer planned events and has pledged to allocate funds to assist in moving costs once a new location is determined.
Mallahan gave credit to Blessings Under the Bridge for working hard to try to mitigate the issues that have arisen as they have grown and said the city is eager to find a solution that allows them to continue their work in the community. The next round of discussions are expected to take place soon.