Stay Home, Stay Safe for Those Experiencing Homelessness
A temporary shelter to create social distancing during this health emergency for those experiencing homelessness opened Monday afternoon at the closed downtown Spokane Public Library.
The temporary space at the downtown
library adds physical capacity to the system to accommodate social distancing for those currently using a shelter. The downtown library is currently closed for planned renovation.
“Our mission to move people out of homelessness continues during this health emergency,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said.
“We all have a part to play in slowing the spread of illness and protecting public health. Expanding the physical system capacity gives everyone a stay-home-to-stay-safe option, keeps those experiencing homelessness connected to services, and makes it easier for them to access a physician, screening, and testing should any of those steps become necessary.”
A statewide “stay-home-to-stay-safe” order remains in effect. The order directs citizens to only go out to work at essential businesses and to meet necessary food, household, and healthcare needs.
Shower space was added to the downtown library space as part of the temporary conversion to a shelter during this health emergency. The space was desirable because it was available to be re-purposed quickly, had a large open space and restrooms, and is not currently shared by healthy populations or services.
The cost of renovations are being covered by $1.47 million in grant money distributed by the state Department of Commerce for use in Spokane County. Additional temporary sites are being evaluated should there be a need for further space expansion.