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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane City Council to discuss operator, lease for proposed East Trent Avenue homeless shelter

A tent city, mixed with RVs, trailers and vans, fills a city block on May 10 at Pacific Avenue and Ray Street. It’s called “Camp Hope,” a homeless camp on empty land owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation.  (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)

The future of the city of Spokane’s proposed homeless shelter on East Trent Avenue is taking shape.

City officials are scheduled Monday to present key details on the proposal – such as a recommended operator and lease terms for the property – during the Spokane City Council’s Public Safety and Community Health Committee meeting. There also will be a funding presentation Monday about current and proposed shelter funding obligations, city spokesman Brian Coddington said.

The 1:15 p.m. committee meeting at City Hall is open to the public virtually and in person.

The shelter proposal calls for a 24/7 facility with an estimated daily minimum use of 150 beds, capable of scaling to 250 beds based on demand along with additional surge capacity. The facility also is expected to offer wraparound services, such as case management and access to resources like mental health and substance abuse treatment.

City officials met with representatives from the state Department of Commerce on Thursday to discuss possible funding streams. In a letter requesting the meeting, state officials cited the Camp Hope homeless encampment on Department of Transportation land on East Second Avenue, which has grown to hundreds of people over the past six months.

“The current situation poses significant public health and safety concerns for people who have taken shelter there,” the letter read. “The encampment presents unacceptable risks for state workers who must maintain our right of ways. We should also recognize the hazards and concerns to the adjacent businesses and neighborhood.”

The City Council is not expected to take action on the shelter items until later this month.

The city’s Community Health and Human Services Division issued a request for proposals last month seeking operators and service providers for the proposed new shelter. Two submissions were turned in from potential operators along with three from service providers, according to council briefing documents.

The request for proposals review committee is recommending a proposal from The Guardians Foundation, the operator of the city’s Cannon Street Shelter at 527 S. Cannon Street.

Two of the three service provider proposals, meanwhile, were “not accepted due to nonconformance” based on initial pass/fail criteria evaluated by the city’s procurement department, according to council documents. The review committee ultimately chose not to recommend a service provider.

The Guardians Foundation, which had also applied during an initial request for proposals process earlier this year that was restarted, was recommended by a review committee that included one representative each from the city’s Continuum of Care Board, Community Health and Human Services, the Chief Garry Park Neighborhood Council and Spokane Regional Health District, along with representatives from two service providers who did not participate in the request for proposals, according to the documents.

The 4320 E. Trent Ave. warehouse is owned by Lawrence B. Stone Properties No. 4320, an LLC owned by local developer Larry Stone. The five-year lease agreement is proposed at $26,100 base monthly rent, with an option to renew for five years.

Mayor Nadine Woodward said the city won’t be responsible for a number of improvements needed to the building. The lease agreement outlines a list that would be covered by Stone along with another $250,000 in improvements, including the installation of a ramp and temporary wall sections, covered by the nonprofit Innovia Foundation.