‘I don’t know’: People at Camp Hope don’t want to live at the Trent shelter. Will the City compromise?

SPOKANE, Wash. — People living at the largest homeless camp in Spokane say they don’t want what the mayor’s offering, but the city may meet them in the middle.

Mayor Nadine Woodward is standing behind the new city-run shelter opening at 4320 E. Trent Ave in East Spokane.

Even though, in a recent survey done by Jewels Helping Hands, only 51 out of the 601 people living there said they would use it, although many living there want housing.

“Housing, that’s number one,” said William Seat. He was at the city hall protest back in January and moved to the camp in East Spokane when they were forced to vacate city property.

Seat says stable housing is what he wants, but not if a new shelter is his only option.

He says he won’t go to a new shelter “because The Guardians will be taking over that one too, and I will not be anywhere there is a Guardian employee.”

He doesn’t trust The Guardians to run a shelter. Others living at the camp also have concerns.

“Stable housing would be my ultimate goal in some sort of way,” said Kytrinka Shaw. She moved to the camp in March.

She says she wants to leave this camp but is worried about the new shelter.

“I don’t know,” she said. “If it’s not overcrowded, that’s the problem I had with the other ones is I’m not a people person so yeah I don’t know.”

The mayor knows people have concerns.

“I think maybe in their mind right now, they’re thinking of just that large warehouse type of environment,” Woodward said. “That’s not at all what we’re trying to create here.”

She says the 33,000 sq. ft. floor plan is full of opportunity.

“We’re talking about lots of different options. Because the space is so large, almost 33,000 square feet, it provides a lot of flexibility,” Woodward added. “We’re talking about allowing pallet homes there.”

Those tiny homes are something 601 people surveyed by Jewels Helping Hands say they want and could be another possible solution to help people like Kytrinka get on their feet and off the street.

On top of opening the new shelter, the mayor is also working to secure $25 million from the Department of Commerce to relocate people at the homeless camp. She says a lot more outreach still needs to be done to truly understand what those living there need.

READ: Camp Hope grows to small town population, many stuck without a choice