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Spokane Valley hires new housing and homeless coordinator

Spokane Valley has hired Eric Robison as its new housing and homeless coordinator.   (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Valley has hired Eric Robison as its new housing and homeless coordinator.  (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane Valley has a new housing and homeless coordinator.

Eric Robison started working for the city Jan. 3.

Before joining Spokane Valley city government, Robison was a program manager with Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest. He has also worked for Catholic Charities Eastern Washington, the Northwest Fair Housing Alliance, East Central Community Organization and the Dishman Hills Conservancy.

Robison is a Spokane native. He went to Western Washington University and earned a master’s degree in Sustainable Development: Management and International Policy from the School of International Training Graduate Institute in Washington, D.C.

Spokane Valley created the housing and homeless coordinator position last year. During the spring, Arielle Anderson, who previously worked for Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP), became the first person to take on the role. Anderson left the city on Nov. 5, but stayed as a short-term contractor through the end of 2021.

In addition to interacting directly with homeless individuals and helping them find food, housing and other resources, Anderson was helping the city deal with unauthorized camping and develop new regulations for homeless shelters.

The city continues to lack a shelter, but has to change its regulations in order to comply with a law the Washington Legislature passed in 2021 that allows shelters in all residential areas. That law significantly increases the likelihood of a shelter opening in the Valley.

When Anderson first joined the city, she was a one-woman department. In the fall, Spokane Valley received grant money for the hiring of an individual who will focus on outreach, allowing the housing and homeless coordinator to spend more time on policy development.

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