In May 12’s Spokesman-Review is a story about the city still grappling with the homeless issue. Council President Breean Beggs is on top of it in introducing a law that would prohibit reducing the amount of shelter beds unless officials can PROVE they are no longer needed. This would have avoided the debacle that was the closure of the Cannon Street Shelter and the subsequent “tent city” that sprung up in Coeur d’ Alene Park in Browne’s Addition.
I think the City Council should also consider hiring a consultant or two directly from the homeless community. Who would know better how to handle homeless issues than someone who has been there? City representatives doing the rounds at the shelters and collecting people’s stories would also be a learning experience and help them to form laws and policies to help with the homeless issue.
Spokane is NOT Seattle or Portland. Their issues are not our issues. The homeless community in Spokane is a tight-knit group of people that are their own best advocates. They attend City Council meetings and speak up about issues. They hold rallies and demonstrations against unfair biases and attacks against the homeless. The City Council knows them, respects them and listens to them. Now they need to hire a few of them!