A COVID outbreak has forced Hope House, Spokane’s only homeless shelter for women that doesn’t require sobriety, to stop accepting new clients.
The Volunteers of America-run shelter has been closed to new people since Sept. 5, when several guests tested positive for the coronavirus, according to spokesperson RaeLynn Barden. New admissions will begin again on Friday if no new cases are detected.
During the quarantine, guests have been asked to wear face masks and sleeping areas have been separated, Barden added.
The shelter can accept up to 80 people and is regularly at or near- capacity, but it is currently only housing around 58 people, according to sheltermespokane.com, a city-run tally of local shelters. Volunteers of America is currently referring people to other shelters, though there are few in Spokane that accept adult women. Other than Hope House, homeless women can find shelter at the Trent Avenue facility or the Union Gospel Mission, both of which are nearly full, according to sheltermespokane.com.
It’s been several months since the last outbreak caused the women’s shelter to close to new admissions, Barden said.