In a dingy studio apartment in the city's downtown, Robert Kenneth Leavitt began with a confession. "I am a level 3 sex offender," he said, holding hands with his fiancee, leaning a tattooed forearm on his knee. "I'm not going to try to deceive you. I'm being straight-up honest. I look back at the man I was, and I see a darkness that I would not want in the man living next to me. I know you don't find too many people who will give you a second chance."
A homeless camp disbanded Tuesday, ending a weeklong protest in the grassy median on Riverside Avenue. About 20 people – with help from city crews – packed up their belongings and moved into temporary housing after activists reached an agreement with the city and Catholic Charities early Tuesday.
A lottery designed to help low-income people get housing vouchers suffered several setbacks during its debut Wednesday, as its phone system failed and a press release sent applicants to a non-working computer address. Staff members at Northeast Washington Housing Solutions closed their offices at 55 W. Mission but said they would reopen today.
In the Northwest, a familiar trend has emerged in the last five years: Wages have failed to keep pace with increases in cost-of-living expenses. With health care costs rapidly rising, low-wage workers continue to lose ground even though wages grew 7 percent from 2002 to 2006, according to a new report from the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations, a nonprofit based in Seattle.
From the living room, the lights of the city sparkle below, and Mount Spokane looms in the distance. New granite lines the kitchen countertops, and a gas fireplace warms the master bedroom. But when Bruce and Debbie Curran decided to sell their three-bedroom home this fall, they did something that would have been unheard of 12 months ago: They listed it below its appraised value.
A federal housing program will hold a 10-day "lottery" to add 2,500 low-income Spokane families to its waiting list for rental vouchers. The lottery will only allow applicants access to the waiting list – not a guarantee of immediate help, according the Spokane Housing Authority, which does business as Northeast Washington Housing Solutions.
Leaders of the Our Kids: Our Business campaign said they will merge with SPO-CAN, a child welfare council that is already registered as a nonprofit organization. The merger will give the fledgling community group the ability to create a governing structure and apply for grants, said Mary Ann Murphy, incoming chairwoman of SPO-CAN and a leader in the Our Kids: Our Business campaign.
Amid the blue herringbone chairs in the waiting room of the county's juvenile court, it's not uncommon to hear scathing critiques of the Washington's child welfare system from disgruntled parents and their families. But this week, the criticism came from an unusual quarter: Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple.