Cannon Street Center to Aid in Crisis Response

Cannon Street Center to Aid in Crisis Response

With our partners Revive Counseling Spokane, Empire Health Foundation is operating the center to move people into better housing and treatment options.


On June 4, Spokane Mayor Lisa Brown declared a public health and safety emergency due to the opioid crisis in the Spokane community. Every day multiple people are overdosing and receiving life-saving Narcan treatments due to fentanyl use. Nearly 200 people died from overdoses last year, and overdose deaths are up a staggering 2,000% in Spokane County between 2019 and 2022.

Today,  July 3, we’re happy to announce the opening of the Cannon Street Encampment Mitigation Center. This facility will play a key role in connecting our unhoused community members with services and housing options available through the state-funded Encampment Resolution Project.

Empire Health Foundation is supporting this community-wide effort by serving as the leaseholder and coordinator of services at the Cannon Street Center. Our partners, Revive Counseling Spokane, will run the day-to-day operations at the center, which will be available to people identified by Commerce contractors and service providers as eligible for the program.

“Homelessness over the last five years has changed from when people were just worried that there wasn’t enough housing, now it needs to be looked at through the lens of the opioid crisis,” said Layne Pavey, the clinical director of Revive. “What we’re trying to provide is an opportunity for people to access detox services and the behavioral health supports they need to help them achieve long term housing stability.”

“We want this to be like home for these folks,” said Joshua Leach, the Director of ROW/ERP Projects for Revive. “We’re serving the folks we’ve identified with the highest needs. We’ll work to get them stable and into housing options as soon as possible.”

EHF’s role in this project is to serve as a financial backstop and service coordinator. The center is an extension of our ongoing work with the state’s Encampment Resolution/Right of Way Project, which led to the closure of Camp Hope. In addition to holding the lease for the Cannon Street facility, we will also be managing contracts with the state in collaboration with direct service providers. Our involvement eases the financial and contract management burdens on our frontline service provider partners so they can focus their energy on their vital work serving the community.

The Cannon Street Center is a short-term project that will only serve unhoused community members in the Division Street corridor identified by service providers. We have signed a 60-day lease for the facility which could be extended if necessary.

We believe the Cannon Street project and the city’s coordinated response to the opioid crisis is the type of evidence-based collaborative effort that is necessary to uplift our community and provide resources to people suffering from housing insecurity, substance use disorders and mental health disorders. Recent studies have shown that smaller settings that allow more privacy and direct engagement with service providers, improve the likelihood that people will get into better housing options compared to large congregate shelters.

“This project is a collaborative effort to stabilize a set of community members who our systems have let fall through the cracks,” said Zeke Smith, President of Empire Health Foundation. “By bringing effective practice and a focused effort together, we’re confident we can help people on their paths to recovery and housing.”