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'I don't feel safe' | Residents of homeless encampment near I-90 react to Trent Shelter opening

KREM 2 spoke with some of the people living at the homeless encampment near I-90 and Freya, and the reaction to the new shelter was mixed.

SPOKANE, Wash. — After months of discussion, voting and zoning changes, the Trent Avenue homeless shelter is expected to open during the first week of September. However, the residents living at the homeless encampment near I-90 have mixed reactions to the decision.

The city of Spokane announced Monday that Guardians Foundation will serve as the operator of the shelter through December 2023. Leaders expect the shelter to be open by Tuesday, Sept. 6. 

It is important to note that opening this new shelter does not mean the homeless encampment near I-90 and Freya will be cleared out immediately. It does mean, however, that the shelter space will be open to those who choose to go there.

The Trent Shelter will offer separate spaces for different demographics, along with showers, restrooms and three meals a day. There will also be services available to help transition people out of homelessness.

KREM 2 spoke with some of the people living at the homeless encampment near the freeway, and the reaction to the new shelter was mixed. Some believe the shelter will give them the stability and resources they have needed.

"I don't feel safe," encampment resident Tammy said. "So I would go to a controlled environment where I would be safe."

On the other side, others feel they have built a home at the camp and have no plans to leave.

"We planned on traveling. Just living out, seeing things and moving around," resident Danny said. "I don't want to be locked into one location." 

In an interview with Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward, she said there will be an end date for when people must vacate the homeless camp near I-90. The exact date is still being discussed.

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