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Neighbors, business owners push back against Catholic Charities' shelter plans for Quality Inn

Opponents are trying to get the attention of Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward and the city council, both of whom signed on to the plan.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The homeless camp near I-90 and Freya continues to grow, as do the concerns among people who live nearby.

Frustrated by the hundreds of tents and RVs taking up an entire city block, those concerns are now spilling into Spokane's West Hills neighborhood. That's where Catholic Charities is moving forward with plans to buy the Quality Inn to house some of those campers.

Neighbors gathered outside Spokane City Hall on Monday, trying to get the attention of Mayor Nadine Woodward and the Spokane City Council, who signed on to the plan with Catholic Charities to use state commerce funds to buy the Quality Inn.

Protestors claim that there was absolutely no outreach regarding this plan and that they had no opportunity to share their concerns with the city. The protest has grown to a point where a large banner now hangs over an overpass on Sunset, stating "No Camp Hope on Sunset" in big black and red letters.

One neighbor, Annie Iishi, knows several people who are so upset about the plan that they've already listed their homes.

"This is the biggest, most catastrophic news that has landed on us in the 30 plus years I have lived in the same home here," Iishi said.

If this deal goes through, Catholic Charities said the hotel will be transformed with enough room for approximately 100 people. Those people will have to be referred and interviewed and only those with a high likelihood of success will be allowed in. If they break the rules or cause issues, they will be kicked out.

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