The Problem of Homelessness in Yakima County
Presently, there are about 3,000 homeless individuals in Yakima County, including youth and families.
Who are the homeless in Yakima?
The homeless community of Yakima is a diverse group of individuals ranging from the very young (infants, children, and teens) to the elderly and veterans. Men and women of every nationality and sexual orientation are represented.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, fewer than 16% of homeless people in America are considered “chronically homeless”. Yet most assume the homeless are chronically homeless. This is not always true in Yakima County.
What is the impact on the city?
According to the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments (YVCOG), “Each year, Yakima County residents’ tax dollars are spent caring for the homeless through our emergency services including 911, emergency rooms and clinics, law enforcement, fire and rescue units, jails, detoxification programs, public health systems, the judicial system and more. The estimated ‘hidden’ expense of supporting a homeless person in this piecemeal manner is approximately $40,000 per year.” By providing a managed shelter, we can significantly reduce this cost.
To advance the social inclusion and empowerment of the Yakima County homeless community through innovative practices of sheltering, mental health, and emergency basic needs coordination.
We are working to resolve homelessness in Yakima County through:
1) Camp Hope winter weather shelter is a low-barrier, day-time warming station and overnight shelter for men, women, and families currently located at 1702 Englewood Avenue, Yakima, 98902. It is funded in part by the Yakima Valley Community of Governments (YVCOG). On July 1st the winter weather shelter will transition to the summer location, behind the K-Mart.
2) Tiny Homes project is Transform Yakima Together’s approach to increasing the supply of low-income, transitional housing for the homeless in Yakima County. Tiny Homes are fully insulated and electrified, 10’ x 20’ structures; complete with a toilet, shower, and mini kitchen. The tiny homes can accommodate a single adult, couple, or small family. These first two of the tiny homes were be placed on a church lot in June 2018.