A group of current and former political, business, and nonprofit leaders have created a web series and podcast aimed at solving the problem of chronic homelessness in Spokane.
The series is hosted by Spokane’s former budget director, who served under the city’s current and five previous mayors.
Gavin Cooley has traveled across the country seeking solutions to Spokane’s growing problems with homelessness. He also visited researchers, mental health professionals and homeless people.
He says he hopes to educate the wider community and give city, business and nonprofit leaders a starting point to work together.
“I really believe it’s solvable, but it only becomes so if we all get together under one roof and start walking in the same direction,” he said.
Cooley drew inspiration from Houston, Texas, where a coalition moved tens of thousands of people from the streets into housing. Cooley and former Spokane City Council Speaker Ben Stuckart say they hope sharing what they’ve learned with city leaders will lead to solutions in Spokane.
The series also examined the history of Spokane and how the loss of good-paying jobs and lack of affordability pushed many to the fringes.
The series, titled Housing and Help, will release episodes monthly on their website housingandhelp.org