SPOKANE, Wash. — After the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) sent a letter to the city of Spokane stating they would not clear the homeless camp near I-90, neighbors in that area have been left disappointed.
Neighbors living near the I-90 and Freya homeless camp have been living with increased crime, increased noise and an increased mess for months.
In an effort to dig deeper into the story, KREM 2 spoke with one woman living near the camp to get a better understanding of what neighbors are forced to deal with. She asked to not be identified due to fear of retaliation.
The woman KREM 2 spoke with lives less than one block from the homeless encampment. From the first day she moved in less than a year ago, she's been experiencing problems. According to her, living near the homeless encampment is turning into a crisis.
"Early in the morning, it is pretty disgusting when the RVs go around the block before daylight and have the valve to their sewer open to let all that sewage out as they drive around the block," she said. "It's a bad place. The first week I was there I got batteries stolen off of my vehicles. Everything's getting broken into."
One of the more disturbing problems she encounters is raw human waste being dumped in the streets and, sometimes, in front yards.
"I had an RV parked alongside my house and they just opened up the valve," she recalled. "They'd let it go anywhere, and it's really horrid. I don't know what else to say other than it's gross. It's really disgusting."
According to the woman, this is a regular occurrence, happening at least two to three times a week.
"It's really ignorant, first of all, but then the city has to come out and clean and spray the streets down with bleach," she said. "It's pretty disgusting. I've had people that'll just puke all over my lawn or my yard and they don't care. And I reported it and it doesn't do a damn bit of good."
Police regularly patrol the area, but the woman KREM 2 spoke with said officers have continued telling her to report problems. However, she said nothing has changed and the problem is getting worse.
"This has escalated to where it is a hazardous health concern for all of us, even the homeless people," she said. "The city officers babysitting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. is not enough. Because the minute that those officers leave at 7 p.m., it is firepits, loud music, parking lot of traffic, every little bit of nuisance that can go on does go on."
According to her, it's time for the city and the state of Washington to do more.
"I'm tired of being treated like I'm remedial, or I'm a nuisance because I call so much," she said. "I think that those people just need to move on."
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