SPOKANE, Wash. — The City of Spokane, through its Community, Housing, and Human Services (CHHS) Department, initiated a request from qualified agencies to submit proposals to operate a regional flex capacity shelter.
The city restarted the process to select one or multiple providers to operate a possible new regional flex capacity homeless shelter with wrap-around services that will be located at 4320 E. Trent Ave. in east Spokane.
The city restarted the search following concerns about a conflict of interest within the Continuum of Care Board, where two members were parties to one of the proposals. The city said the three proposals were also shared outside of the board evaluators before the board completed its process.
Spokane City Councilmember Jonathan Bingle filed a complaint against the Continuum of Care Board Chair, Ben Stuckart, alleging that he violated ethics through "improper actions in shelter process."
According to a press release from the City of Spokane, the complaints state that Stuckart, who was named as the project manager for Jewels Helping Hands (JHH), participated in a board meeting on April 15 about which proposal to recommend for a new homeless shelter.
Although Stuckart recused himself from the vote of the proposals, the complaint alleges that his continued participation in discussions regarding the proposals "violated the CoC's Conflict of Interest Policy."
“While the pause was disheartening because the demand to provide basic shelter needs to those in crisis is immediate, this re-start in the search process was the right decision in the name of transparency and being careful stewards of taxpayer dollars,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said in a press release. “This new process opens up more options for operators and is customized on how to best address the needs of both our vulnerable individuals and neighbors.”
The new proposal is looking for submissions for two separate projects including a shelter operations and shelter services that aim to help women and men get out of homelessness.
Organizations interested in applying have until Thursday, May 19, 2022, at 5 p.m. to submit their application proposals online at firstname.lastname@example.org. City Council members will review the applications from May 19 to May 26. Selected applications will be approved on June 6. During June, the city will be contracting the selected agencies and the project is expected to start by June 2022.
As described in the Request for Proposals application, a broad-based independent group will make a recommendation on the proposals to Mayor Nadine Woodward, who will then decide whether to forward the recommendation to City Council for final consideration.