East Central businesses frustrated with Camp Hope restraining order, hopeful for lawsuit

SPOKANE, Wash. – 377 people are still living at Camp Hope, and most will likely be there through the end of the year. The East Central neighborhood is not happy about this.

Camp Hope is surrounded by neighbors and businesses, many of whom are frustrated with how the camp is being dealt with.

“‘Can I park my vehicle behind your fence because otherwise, they steal the snow tires off of it?’ Got that call today,” said Doug Trudeau, president of the East Spokane Business Association. “This is one of the poorer communities in the city of Spokane, and has the least amount of resources to take care of themselves with that, so this location of this camp is negatively impacting this neighborhood at a very high level.”

Julie Garcia, founder of Jewels Helping Hands, says they’re actively working to move those at Camp Hope.

“We understand that it is being impacted on a bigger scale, and we are trying to mitigate that,” Garcia said. “There is no where else for them to go. We truly are doing everything we possibly can to move people into better situations and housing so their neighborhood is no longer impacted.”

A federal decision granted a temporary restraining order to stop law enforcement from clearing Camp Hope, which Garcia says buys them more time.

Trudeau believes East Central residents and businesses weren’t taken into consideration when making the decision.

They’re hoping they have a larger voice for the lawsuit brought by Spokane County.

“We’re hoping the neighborhood, the 20,000 people, the 1,800 businesses are considered in all the other factors that are involved in the court decision at the next hearing,” he said.

The lawsuit will have a hearing on December 28 in Yakima.

READ: Spokane City Council passes resolution to condemn law enforcement action at Camp Hope

READ: Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund speaks on Camp Hope restraining order