In a video uploaded on Twitter on Wednesday, the sheriff of Spokane, Washington, demanded that Democratic leaders stop allowing the second-largest homeless camp in the state to “spiral out of control.”
According to KXYL News, the mismanaged homeless camp “Camp Hope,” which has at least 600 residents, is located on WSDOT-owned property and has cost the tax payers at least $400,000 thus far. According to a video shared on Twitter, Spokane residents were referred to as “victims” as a result of the homeless encampment by Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, who also criticized Lisa Browne, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce, for the situation with the camp.
“I heard about all the stories about what is going on in that camp, which I refuse to use the word ‘hope’ because it represents anything but hope, over the last several months, this has to end,” Knezovich stated in the video.
According to KREM 2 News, Knezovich wrote to the WSDOT demanding that the encampment be taken down within the next two weeks. Plans for the homeless individuals are outlined in the letter, including sending each one a bus ticket to a destination of their choice so they can be reunited with loved ones and start the recovery process.
In a letter sent to the WSDOT and the State Department of Commerce on Tuesday, the city of Spokane demanded that “Camp Hope” be dismantled within the following month, according to KXYL. In the letter, it is claimed that the agencies “lost sight of the $24 million” Spokane received from the state to evacuate the campsite.
In the video, Knezovich added, “Now if they want to play this out in the media, game on. You have limited time to get this resolved, or we will resolve it for you.”
Nearby, Seattle Chinatown residents are protesting the city’s plans to build a homeless megaplex valued at $66.5 million to house at least 500 people. The new shelter would replace an already existing shelter that currently houses about 300 residents.