SPOKANE, Wash. — A local nonprofit for people with disabilities is cleaning up after some someone threw a brick through their front door.
Staff and two members were preparing a meal for their members Wednesday night when a homeless man began setting up camp for the night at their front entrance. They told him he's not allowed to stay there, and that's when things escalated.
"He turned around and started swearing at her and started coming towards her, so she got in the building and locked the door and then he picked up a brick and threw it through the window," said Bob Hutchinson, Projectid Executive Director.
Projectid is only feet away from the new homeless shelter which isn't even open yet. But unfortunately, the nonprofit is dealing with problems they didn't have before.
Projectid is a nonprofit organization that provides recreation, socialization, work, personal development and transitional opportunities to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Spokane County. On any given night, Projectid averages about 100 people per night.
RELATED: Spokane nonprofit concerned about homeless shelter moving in nearby
Their new neighbors will soon be the city's newest homeless shelter. Earlier in July, the city approved the purchase of a new full-service homeless shelter located on East Sprague Avenue. The facility would have 120 beds and be open year-round.
Hutchinson said since the announcement, they've seen more loitering and criminal activity.
"Typically, I'm picking up anywhere from eight to 10 used needles every week that are right around our front door," Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson wants to be good neighbors and serve both groups but is concerned not enough is being done to keep them safe.
"I know the homeless is a vulnerable population, I believe it needs to be served, but I'm not going to compromise the safety and the wellbeing of the folks we serve," he explained.
KREM 2 looked into the numbers with Spokane police. Officials said property crime in the area is not up and has actually declined since May.
"Regardless of what crime stats say is happening in our community perception has a lot to do with our quality of life. When a person experiences crime directly it has a powerful effect on us and in turn impacts how we relate to the world around us. We can take some of that fear, anger and frustration and try to turn it into awareness and vigilance,” said Sergeant Terry Preuninger Spokane Police Department.
KREM 2 reached out to the City of Spokane after the purchase and they said maintaining safety, regardless of who the neighbors are, will be the top priority. The goal is to help people as they find permanent housing.
"These people, we're passionate about them because they're passionate about us, we love them, we care about them and we need to be here," Hutchinson said.
Projectid members fear they'll close, Hutchinson said they'll stay open and do whatever it takes to keep their members safe even if that means moving the program.
The city is hosting a public forum at Projectid to hear concerns from neighbors and discuss possible solutions on July 30 at Projectid at 6 p.m.