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Camp Hope looking for community's help with move to old campsite

Camp Hope looking for community's help with move to old campsite

YAKIMA, Wash. -- The homeless who are now living on Englewood Avenue have to be out by June 30 and are moving back to their old campsite, but they say there is a lot of work to be done in just three short weeks.

Executive Director of Transform Yakima Together, Andy Ferguson said Camp Hope residents will be doing as much work as they can, but they are asking the community for help.

He said they are looking for volunteers to pack everything up at the indoor shelter and prepare the encampment for move in with projects like putting up tents, insulating offices, landscaping and more.

"There's a lot of little projects that we can break this down to," Ferguson said. "So it would be a good opportunity for service groups or small groups from churches or civic groups, anything like that would be a great group project for anybody that would want to do that."

However, Ferguson said one of the biggest projects that needs to be completed is installing utilities. He said the city is putting in water and sewer and Camp Hope is taking care of electricity.

Yakima Public Works Director Scott Schafer said they were just notified about the project two weeks ago and it won't be ready in time. He said YVCOG is giving the city $100,000 to complete the project.

"Once we've received the funds then we can officially start the project," Schafer said. "We are looking at it, we've talked to the engineering firms and it would be two to three weeks just to get the design work completed. At that point, we can go ahead and start with construction."

Schafer said the project could take more than a month and they are going to have to work around the residents living there.

Camp Hope said they are aware they will be operating as a dry camp for a little while before utilities are in and Ferguson said it's going to be chaotic but it's a chance to work together.

"I think it will actually be kinda interesting and hopefully fun when we're camping temporarily while construction is going on," he said. "A little chaotic but actually a good time to just experience community."

All these projects were supposed to be completed over the winter but Camp Hope's focus turned to making the indoor shelter permanent.

They said they will be using more area for the campsite this time and up to 120 people will be able to live here.

This will be the campsite for Camp Hope for the next two years as they work with the city to find a permanent location.

If you are interested in volunteering your time or donating materials such as gravel, heavy equipment rentals, sleeping bags, bedding, toiler paper or toiletries you can contact Transform Yakima Together at 509-426-2929 or drop off items at the Englewood indoor shelter.

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