‘Not going to be tolerated’: Camp Hope fencing damaged over the weekend

SPOKANE, Wash. — New pictures sent to the 4 News Now Facebook page shows damage to the Camp Hope fence, which occurred this past weekend.

The camp also has a new curfew: people can’t come and go from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

The Washington State Department of Transportation installed the fence on Friday. Camp leaders say about a dozen or so people messed with the fence by either hopping, lifting or going through it over the weekend.

“The fence is important to the folks who are here who are serious about getting services and getting out of the camp the way they should, that’s getting into housing or whatever that’s going to look like,” said Maurice Smith, camp manager for the Spokane Homeless Coalition.

Camp leaders say they reached out to WSDOT to get the contractor to come out and make repairs and improvements to the fence, such as adding two brackets to the railing instead of one.

They say they expected it to happen, and it’ll take time for people to adjust to the new fence and curfew. However, camp leaders assure anyone who refuses to follow the rules will face consequences.

“It’s not going to be tolerated. We figured we’d have a week to ten day break in period where we’re breaking in the fence, breaking in the campers, and getting used to it, but there comes a point where we say if you’re going to do stupid stuff, you’re out,” Smith said.

New rules at the camp include the curfew, which camp leaders say they’re making exceptions for people who have jobs. They say they’re verifying employment and schedules.

“Enforcing the curfew is real. Enforcing we knew would be a process, but we are very serious about it. We’re taking it seriously, and people are going to have to learn, if you’re going to live here in the camp, you’ve got to play by the rules and behave yourself,” Smith said.

Smith says they’re also ramping up security. Crowd Management Services watches the camp from outside during the night while Jewels Helping Hands handles the security inside with regular perimeter walks.

“I was here 9 o’clock Saturday night, walking the perimeter with security looking at how the fence had been violated. I’ll probably do that again tonight,” Smith said.

The next step at Camp Hope is implementing a security badge program where people will receive badges with their name and picture on it.

Smith says camp leaders are also working to get the RVs to a managed RV camp. Right now, they’re trying figure out the condition and number of RVs inside the camp.

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