SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — Spokane County has issued a response to Jewels Helping Hands and Disability Rights Washington's motion for a preliminary injunction surrounding the I-90 homeless camp.
Ultimately, the County requested the temporary restraining order to be lifted and for the motion for preliminary injunction to be denied
In the 29-page response, Spokane County argued that the temporary restraining order from arresting and removing residents from the property would prolong "the persistent and overwhelmingly common drug and associated criminal activity in and around the encampment."
The county also noted that the existence of the camp has taken a significant financial toll on the city of Spokane and its taxpayers as calls for emergency services and law enforcement continue to pile up. The response also highlighted illegal drug activity, trafficking in stolen property, theft, vandalism, vehicle prowling, assaults, rape, indecent liberties, littering and other unsafe and unsanitary practices.
"Residents of the encampment, their associates and visitors substantial and dramatically interfere with the use and enjoyment of the business and residential properties of neighbors in the area, preventing quiet enjoyment of their property," the County said in the response. "Threats and intimidation to neighbors and members of their families, business patrons and passersby are a fact of life."
Later in the response, the county took aim at the state of Washington, claiming that officials have "simply refused to take appropriate action to abate the nuisance."
The city's efforts to provide housing for the camp's population were also acknowledged, as the county noted the recently established Trent Resource and Assistance Center (TRAC).
"The City’s TRAC facility on East Trent has opened since the inception of Camp Hope," The county said in their response. "TRAC is a low barrier shelter with capacity for at least 350 homeless individuals in a building that is heated, has shower and toilet facilities, security for property and supervision and security for the protection of residents and staff."
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