SPOKANE, Wash. — A new homeless shelter run by the Salvation Army opened in Downtown Spokane Thursday.
Men and women who were previously staying at the temporary shelter inside the Spokane Area made the move over to the shelter located at 55 West Mission Avenue.
There are more than 100 beds in the 24/7 facility. The goal is to provide counseling for those who use the shelter while providing support for them to get back on their feet.
While the coronavirus pandemic continues, City of Spokane and Salvation Army leaders said the new shelter will be a place for those facing homelessness.
“Having a nice open concept allows us to keep parties separated as they need to be for COVID while also providing a good secure location for the folks who are living here,” Salvation Army Corps Officer Major Ken Perine.
Anyone can use the facility and temperature checks will be conducted before entering the building. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will also be served daily.
The building was purchased by Spokane County with federal COVID-19 response funding. The facility was selected because it was a large, available building with enough open space to safely distance, and because of its proximity to public transit and other important services.
Beginning Aug. 14 and through the length of the pandemic, that facility will serve as the emergency COVID response shelter for the region.
After the pandemic, it will be converted into a "bridge" shelter. That's a shelter that hosts a specialty program for getting people into permanent housing. Residents at the shelter have to be referred into the program. Post-COVID, the Mission facility will no longer be a place people can just drop in for the night.
Those people will be directed to the Cannon Street shelter. That facility has been closed since winter, pending renovations that have been long in the works. The current timeline projects those renovations to be completed in early November.