Spokane sheriff vows to clear east Spokane homeless camp
Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich made the claim in a letter to the head of Washington's transportation department.
The debate about the homeless camp in east Spokane has a new participant: Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. He has written state transportation officials to let them know he plans to clear out the camp that sits on state land by mid-October.
Knezovich laid that out in a two-page letter to Transportation Secretary Roger Millar. Knezovich says he considers the people who live at the camp and its neighbors to be victims of criminals preying on them and of unsanitary conditions.
He said his department will investigate the people he says are behind the creation of the camp and its operations, including Jewels Helping Hands, the organization operating the camp, and former Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart.
Representatives from the city of Spokane have met this week with officials from the state Departments of Transportation and Commerce to work out a plan and timetable for closing the camp.
Commerce has allocated more than $20 million to help Spokane County address its homelessness problem.