‘No Camping’ signs appear across downtown Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. — The City of Spokane is taking another step towards clearing downtown of homeless camps.

New 'No Camping' signs posted around downtown SpokaneThe city has posted ‘No Camping’ signs, like the one shown here, across town and, specifically, near the underpasses on Browne Street and Stevens Street.

It marks the first time the City has posted signs like this in these areas.

The homeless people are already noticing a difference with police presence across town. Now, these signs are posted to help police continue with enforcement. Some people tell 4 News Now that this increased enforcement has caused them to scatter any time they see an officer.

City records show there have been 13 citations and one arrest under Spokane’s sit and lie ordinance since January.

“I think the answer is in education, not in handcuffs,” said Jesse Sprowel, a homeless man in Spokane.

The City hopes the signs can keep the underpasses clear.

“It’s really meant to provide support for our Police Department, so that if and when they do need to enforce the laws, that they have public notice,” City spokesperson Kirstin Davis said.

Some of the homeless are worried about the increased enforcement.

“Everyone’s worried, but sometimes people are really good at finding locations that are off the street,” Sprowel said, “Just somewhere to hide. Somewhere to be.”

The change in weather certainly helps – they no longer have to worry about freezing to death.

“Going under a bridge somewhere with a sleeping bag or a blanket we somehow get, that’s everything we need. So, the summer time helps a lot.” Sprowel said.

There have been beds available every night at the homeless shelters across town.

The owner of the Cannon Street Shelter said there’s only been a couple nights where that was not the case, due to winter weather.