SPOKANE, Wash — KREM 2’s digging in on an announcement made in Wednesday’s State of the City address, where Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward said Catholic Charities would move its downtown homeless shelter.
The project, known at House of Charity 2.0, would replace the current House of Charity on the corner of Browne and Pacific in downtown Spokane. .
Here’s what we know so far:
The new facility is expected to be a 24/7 low-barrier shelter with the capacity to house up to 300 men and women.
Catholic Charities officials said the downtown location can only house up to 135 people a night.
But, at one point, it had 300 to 400 people at one time with people sleeping on the floors.
The new facility’s expected to offer some new services, including hospice suites and services onsite, a bigger cafeteria and a bigger kitchen with the ability to flash-freeze food.
Outdoor spaces are also expected to be available for those who aren't ready to sleep indoors.
Catholic Charities already has three spots zoned correctly they're considering for the location.
According to the Sarah Yerden, marketing and communications director for Catholic Charites, the next step is meeting with neighbors.
"It's very important to us to be a good neighbor and so we want to reach out to all of the folks who are around the potential site. We want to listen to their concerns and mitigate those concerns and once we have done that, then we'll be ready to move forward with those next steps of announcing a location,” she said.
Catholic Charities CEO Robb McCann said in an interview on Wednesday, “Once we get construction, get in the dirt, it's probably about 11 months to 12 months to build. We're talking about a substantial facility. This is 45 to 50,000 square feet."
The organization says early estimates for the facility's construction to be near $11-million, but could increase because of environmental factors at the site, inflation, timing and cost of building materials.
As for the current House of Charity, that building will no longer house people overnight once the new facility's built.
Instead, it will be used for office space. However, some beds will be left in case there's a need for shelter during emergencies.