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Cooling tent to stay up during heat wave

With more heat on the way, the cooling tent at the homeless camp on Freya St. and I-90 is still up. It is expected to stay up through the heatwave on Tuesday.

SPOKANE, Wash. — With more heat on the way, the cooling tent at the homeless camp on Freya St. and I-90 is still up.

Jewels Helping Hands, one of the non-profit organizations responsible for the tent says it will stay up at least through Tuesday.

Many people who live at the camp have used the tent to rest and even sleep.

“Wonderful, I cannot express more gratitude. It's a blessing,” said Duan Marsh, a homeless encampment resident.

The city of Spokane previously issued an order to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), asking the tent to be removed.  Both the tent and the encampment sit on property owned by WSDOT.

The city can fine WSDOT for each day it doesn't comply with the city's order.

But Jewels Helping hands says it'll just be a hassle if they have to take it down.

"Next week it's going to be back up to triple digits. To take this down it's going to be a lot more money. To take it down and put it right back up again for next week so if we can just leave it there." said Ken Graey, spokesman for Jewels Helping Hands.

Extreme heat warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service for next week.

There are many amenities that are provided inside the cooling tent.

"There's food, there's drinks, there's snacks, there's beds. Everything, we go in there to hang out, we basically are family here," said Crystal Jones, who lives at the camp. “We're all tight knit and we've known each other for a long time. I'm grateful because if it wasn't for this tent we would've died of heat stroke."

Jewels Helping Hands also said they're already $4000 short in funding for tent-staff.

But if Jewels Helping Hands gets a violation they have a message of their own.

"Fine us… fine us,” said Graey.

Graey said that the expectation is to keep up the tent past Tuesday. Jewels Helping Hands hopes to get a permit to keep it up as long as they can.

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