Spokane Mayor addresses homelessness in time for annual survey




Posted on January 20, 2014 at 7:46 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 20 at 8:03 PM

SPOKANE, Wash—Spokane Mayor David Condon emphasized the importance of helping the homeless Monday through the Point-in-Time Survey.

The annual survey, scheduled for Thursday, asks the homeless population about their living situation.

The Union Gospel Mission is one of the organizations that works to improve living situations for the homeless. Officials said more than 3,000 people came to Union Gospel Mission in 2013 for services.

Mayor Condon said although there is still more to be done, the group is making a difference one person at a time.

“It’s about giving to those non profits that are looking at the individual and not about ‘populations or groups of people’,” he said.

The Point in Time Survey showed the number of homeless people in Spokane dropped during the last four-year period.  Union Gospel Mission staff members said their hard work aims to bring that number down further.

“Our goal, God dependent contributing members, we want to end homelessness. Not just encourage people to continue to be homeless,” said staff member Phil Altmeyer.

 The mayor said the survey serves as a report card for how well city services are helping the homeless.

“See how our programs are working,” he said. “Are they benefiting? Are we getting the best use of those precious dollars we are getting.”

The Mayor said he planned to ask for federal funding during a trip to the U.S. Capitol in the coming week.