Financial assistance

On the verge of closure, Hope House receives funding to stay open

The Town of Spokane will provide emergency financial assistance to keep the Hope House Women’s Shelter open.

The operator of the refuge, Volunteers of America, warned late last year that it would be forced to shut down the crucial refuge due to a budget deficit in 2022.

Spokane City Council voted unanimously on Monday to allocate $ 322,000 for the shelter, which is the only emergency shelter in Spokane that exclusively serves adult women, whether or not they meet certain standards, such as sobriety. .

In addition to a grant from Spokane County to cover operational funding for the fiscal year, the city’s dollars are sufficient to keep the shelter open until June 30, according to Volunteers of America spokeswoman Rae- Lynn Barden.

Closing the shelter would further strain the city-wide network of homeless shelters. Already, according to city officials, beds for adult women are hard to come by.

The shelter warned of financial shortfalls despite opening a new building on Third Avenue last year, which roughly doubled its emergency accommodation capacity and included several apartments.

Eric Finch, acting director of the ward, housing and social services, told city council on Monday that the city’s five-year funding plan for shelters did not take into account inflation and other potential additional costs.

“What we have here is a lack of operational funding for many of our shelters,” said Finch, adding that Hope House is the first the town has been able to fill.

The city moved to a five-year funding cycle for shelters in 2019 in an effort to provide stability for them.

The funding approved on Monday was allocated from unspent homeless funds previously made available through the federal coronavirus aid, relief and economic security act passed by Congress in 2020.

The same amount of money is used to fund the city’s mixed emergency homeless shelter on Cannon Street.

Finch acknowledged that the city must determine a long-term funding plan for the two shelters after June.