‘I just wish the neighborhood would go back to where it was’ Camp Hope shrinks, businesses still plagued by crime nearby

SPOKANE, Washington. – IIf you’ve driven on I-90 or in the Midwest area, you’ve probably seen the fencing and security at Camp Hope and how much smaller the camp has become.

At its height, the camp had more than 600 people. Fewer than 200 people now call the camp home, and that number continues to dwindle.

In October, businesses in the Central East District expressed frustration over crime they say emanates from the camp.

Although the camp is shrinking and people move out of the camp in search of better housing, the neighborhood still deals with crime that is said to be from the camp.

“I’m not entirely sure what happened, we just started seeing more drug use, a lot of trespassing, vandalism, employees being threatened, we don’t want that to happen again,” Michael Bell said.

Bell is the manager at the store on Toro, which is right next to Camp Hope.

“It is decreasing, there are more people [the] to help them get the resources they need,” Bell said.

He says that although he has noticed that more people have left the camp, he and others have Employees still deal with and even contact people who steal.

“It can definitely affect you emotionally [and] unfortunately, sometimes physically,” Bell said.

He added that the camp changed the square. While he says he and his staff don’t judge their clients’ situations, they want the crime to stop.

“I just wish the neighborhood would go back to where it was,” Bell said.

On Friday, Camp Hope managers brought in cleanup crews to get rid of trash left behind by former residents as they prepare to begin shrinking the physical size of the camp.

“We’re moving to the most difficult to accommodate population because they have mental health issues, substance abuse issues and physical medical issues, we don’t have options for them yet,” said Maurice Smith, who helps run Camp Hope.

There is still no set date for clearing the camp. Starting from Monday, the fence around the camp is being moved, because the belongings of people who no longer live there are being removed.

RELATED: ‘They’ve moved on’: Camp Hope prepares to downsize if population falls below 200

RELATED: East Central businesses frustrated by the containment measure at Camp Hope are hoping for a lawsuit

READ: East Central Borough Council votes to clean up Camp Hope by Thanksgiving

Source link