SPOKANE, Wash. — The 10th annual Homeless Connect is coming back to the Spokane Convention Center one year after its cancellation due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Each year, Connect offers different services for anyone experiencing homelessness or those at risk of becoming homeless. During the 2020 event, about 1,100 people that lacked access to services attended Connect with over 1,000 providers offering their free services.
The 2020 Spokane Homeless Connect served 70% of those experiencing homelessness in Spokane. For the 2022 event, the Planning Committee expects the same or a larger number of attendants. The committee also expects a higher number of local volunteers, caseworkers, non-profits and service providers.
“After more than a year of COVID restrictions, the need for direct contact and services in the homeless community is greater than anything we’ve ever seen,” Connect Chair Kari Stevens said. “We’re working with the Spokane Regional Health District and individual service providers to observe all health protocols and keep all of our attendees and providers safe."
Stevens said all attendees and service providers for the 2022 event will have to follow the COVID-19 guidelines and will be required to wear a mask at all times.
“Masks will be provided and required of everyone participating in the event. We won’t allow anyone into the event who refuses to wear a mask,” Stevens said. “We’ve added more floor space for this year’s event so that guests and service providers can practice social distancing."
The event will take place on Thursday, Jan. 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Spokane Convention Center, located at 220 West Spokane Falls Boulevard in downtown Spokane.
A vaccination clinic will be also available during the event for attendees that want to get a vaccine shot. Hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes will also be provided during the event to keep everybody safe.