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Department of Commerce pays $500,000 to fund first step in moving homeless individuals living near I-90 and Freya

This funding enables the Empire Health Foundation to coordinate outreach in the encampment and develop a plan for future action.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Commerce has issued a letter of intent and a notice to proceed to Empire Health Foundation, providing $500,000 in funding to the organization.

This funding enables the Empire Health Foundation to coordinate outreach in the encampment and develop a plan for future action in addressing urgent public health and safety needs for people living at the homeless encampment off I-90 and Freya.

According to a press release, the City of Spokane and other local jurisdictions and providers will be invited to participate and give input on how the funds will be used.

"Our priority continues to be moving individuals living outdoors in the encampment into safer, better living conditions as quickly as possible," Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown said. "We are funding this first step in the city of Spokane's plan and look forward to continuing work with all of the local partners. Our goal remains to make sure that in addition to housing, people currently at Camp Hope are provided opportunities to connect with appropriate support and services that offer potential for permanent solutions and positive outcomes over the long term." 

"The people of Camp Hope have let us know that they want better security, more privacy and the opportunity for improved housing," Empire Health Foundation President Zeke Smith said. "This agreement and the funding from the Department of Commerce allows us as a community to begin to make true progress on addressing the needs of our neighbors at Camp Hope."  

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