Home USA News ‘I don’t feel safe’: West Hills neighbors express concerns about Catalyst project

‘I don’t feel safe’: West Hills neighbors express concerns about Catalyst project

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SPOKANE, Wash. — People living in Spokane’s West Hills neighborhood have voiced their concerns about the Catalyst Project, Catholic Charities’ newest housing project coming to their neighborhood.

People who live there say they are concerned about the project, especially because they say they don’t feel like they have a say in it. They said they were stunned when they learned Project Catalyst was coming to their area.

They said they didn’t ask for it, but the shelter comes to them anyway.

The group, known as Preserve West Hills, says they have been meeting with Catholic Charities to understand and share with neighbors the changes happening in the neighborhood.

Preserve West Hills held a meeting Saturday to discuss the issues.

“I don’t feel any better about having a shelter next to my neighborhood… I don’t feel safe, I don’t think my neighbors feel any safer, I’d like to know what they’re going to do for my safety.” said Sandy Nichols, a concerned resident.

Concerned West Hills neighbors gathered Saturday at Restoration Church to hear Catalyst Project updates presented by Preserve West Hills.

“This was an ad hoc group that was formed in response to the news,” said Annie Iishi, a member of Preserve West Hills.

Iishi says she and others have met with Catholic Charities several times to get answers.

“There were some things that were hard to accept,” Iishi said. “And that’s what they didn’t notify and involve our community because they felt they had an obligation to keep it a secret from the owner of a quality motel until the deal was done.”

Iishi says the shelter will begin accepting people living at Camp Hope, Hope House and House of Mercy on Dec. 1.

“They will phase them in,” Iishi said. “They’re not going to have all their beds filled to 100. It’s going to be done in phases.”

Other neighbors at the meeting said they would like more input when it comes to the new shelter.

Catholic Charities and other officials were not present at Saturday’s meeting. Instead, Dawn Kinder, the project manager, wrote a letter to neighbors saying they are taking steps to make the Catalyst project safe for everyone.

This includes adding a perimeter fence, bag checks for visitors and a phone line to contact West Hill Neighbors if they feel unsafe.

Neither Catholic Charities nor city leaders were invited to the meeting because Preserve West Hills wanted the meeting to be peaceful and productive.

4 News Now reached out to Catholic Charities and did not hear back.

READ: Catholic Charities has received preliminary approval for the Catalyst project

READ: West Hills District Council meeting with Catholic Charities about the Catalyst project

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