Downtown business struggles with homeless people urinating on property
SPOKANE, Wash. — Many are used to grabbing coffee, jumping into the car and making the morning drive to work. But what if that morning routine included cleaning up after the homeless, too? For some people in downtown, that’s the reality.
One man reached out to 4 News Now and said he’s tired of cleaning up other people’s messes. This worker tells us the environment they’re subjected to each day is not only inconvenient – it’s disgusting.
“The nastiness of our homeless population being left out here. We’re standing in just a urine, a urine area,” that man said. “It’s just horrible, you know. It’s not just urine. It is feces of every kind. There is vomit, there’s everything.”
This downtown Spokane worker didn’t want to show his face because his company didn’t authorize him to share the story. But, he tells 4 News Now, it never ends.
“We do this everyday. We come in at least an hour early to pick up, get rid of all our garbage. They go through our dumpsters. It’s horrible,” he said.
You can’t smell something on TV, so you’ll just have to take our word for it.
“The studio next door, he can’t hardly work in there because of the smell,” he said.
That’s the least of their problems.
“Needles, we find everyday. Knives,” he said. “They’ll be doing drugs, dealing, laying here, sleeping, just whatever they want to do.”
Unfortunately, the burden to clean it all falls on employees.
“The biggest concern is we’re going to get something from it. You know, Hepatitis. You know, we don’t know what anybody has,” he said.
This worker calls it a ‘free for all’ that no one can gain control of.
He said they call police to come help, but it’s not working.
“The police department has picked them up today and that’s the reason they’re gone. But they’ll be back by six o’ clock tonight. Back doing the same thing,” he said.
We reached out to the city, which said it’s trying to keep up, cutting response time for illegal campsites from 13 days to four. But it’s hard to control people from coming back to a place they like.
From May to July, the city cleared more than 250 illegal camps and cleaned up more than 59,000 pounds of trash from those camps.
This worker said is enough is enough. His employees are paid to do a job, and it’s not to be a janitor of the homeless.
“It’s not fair to the general public that the homeless is allowed to do whatever they want,” he said.
That worker said it’s more than just a gross inconvenience. The homeless population is affecting how they do business. They said they have customers feeling uncomfortable .
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