The recommended policies which follow are drawn from the conclusions of the public safety perception survey and are offered to our local and regional policymakers to help resolve the interconnected crises of addiction, mental illness, and crime among the unsheltered in the streets of downtown Spokane. The conditions so many of our unsheltered mentally ill and addicted live in are inhumane. Real compassion is not enabling life on the street but rather helping people off the street. This can be summed up as a wholistic approach for those who need the community’s engagement to regain control of their lives.

The recommended policies proposed by the DSP are:

  1. Provide adequate emergency shelter
  2. Provide adequate access to emergency and social services for all individuals in need by equitably distributing services across the county
  3. The provision of ‘Housing First’ low and no barrier housing should be succeeded by a dramatic expansion of treatment programs for Individuals who suffer from mental illness and substance use disorder
  4. Establish structured, regulated environments for people suffering from mental illness
  5. Meet the demand for workforce housing by reducing regulations on an overly-regulated housing market
  6. Correctly interpret and apply the Martin v. City of Boise decision by enforcing laws currently on the books, which are already compliant with its requirements
  7. Reestablish the basis for proactive/neighborhood policing by returning to the ‘reasonable suspicion’ evidentiary standard and amending other legislative actions that have dramatically reduced the efficacy of neighborhood policing in Washington
  8. Amend drug legalization by restoring common sense restrictions on readily accessible, highly addictive drugs
  9. As COVID-19 becomes endemic, the private and public sectors should prepare and coordinate for the return of employees and visitors so that as much pre-COVID foot traffic and business activity as possible is recovered

To read DSP's complete policy platform, click below.

Policy Platform