Homeless advocates bring noise to downtown streets

If you were out shopping in downtown Spokane Wednesday night, you might have noticed some extra commotion.

Homeless advocates held a demonstration outside River Park Square and several other businesses in an attempt to disrupt the holiday atmosphere and call attention to numerous issues facing the local homeless population.

Alfredo Llamedo, the activist behind Camp Hope, led the small groups through the downtown core. Some shoppers stopped to lend an ear, others rolled their eyes.

“Camp Hope is everywhere,” Llamedo said. “And if you go up and do a little bit of searching, you’ll see that there are Camp Hopes all over the country.”

Llamedo said protests will continue until the city council repeals the sit and lie ordinance, and the no camping ordinance. Llamedo said those laws criminalize homelessness.

Protestors also want the city to fund more 24-hour shelters to help the homeless get one step closer to permanent housing.

“I think that what they’re spending is far less than what the city needs,” Llamedo said. “We need housing because the shelters are not the answer. The shelter is a temporary fix.”

Other protests are planned for Saturday and Sunday in downtown Spokane.

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