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Homeless people in Yakima might not have a place to sleep this winter

Homeless people in Yakima might not have a place to sleep this winter

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Homeless people in Yakima might not have many options when it comes to finding a 24–hour shelter this winter.

Last week a meeting took place at the Entrust Community Services building or ECS where councilmembers and homeless camp directors spoke about what will happen with the homeless this winter.

Camp Hope, who was hoping to occupy the ECS building for a homeless shelter was rejected since ECS sold their property and the new owners will be using the building soon.

Now the Yakima Neighborhood Health Services is also left in a limbo after they received a letter from the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments or YVCG saying they were not selected this year to receive funding for a winter weather shelter.

Communications Manager for the Yakima Neighborhood Health Services Leah Ward says they are confused as to why YVCG would tell them they are not selected since they have done this for several years.

“We’ve done it for the past two years and we lost this year, so I’m not sure what the situation is with the winning proposal,” said Ward.

The letter from YVCG says Yakima Neighborhood Health Services cost per client served was significantly higher than a competing project application. The competing project application was from Ferguson's 24-hour shelter.

“We don’t think it is. We question the numbers they’re using. We think we came in significantly lower,” said Ward.

Ward says they were asking for $735 per person while Ferguson's organization was asking for $1,388 per person.

Ward says that although they might not receive the funding they were hoping for, they will still be able to have a hotel/motel voucher program for homeless families and they will also help other organizations and churches with their shelters this winter.

Ward says they have not been completely rejected yet since another vote for the funding of homeless shelters will be taken Tuesday by the Homeless Planning and Policy Council at 10 in the morning in Sunnyside.

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