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YV-Tech students rebuild competition tiny homeless shelter for Camp Hope

KIMA

YAKIMA, Wash.--YV-Tech students who recently built a tiny homeless shelter for a state competition are now rebuilding it for folks at the new homeless encampment in Yakima.

"There's a lot of needs that need to be met here," said YV-Tech carpentry instructor Dan Garcia. "This housing project is just one of those needs."

After seeing how their tiny homeless shelter stacked up against others in Washington, YV-Tech students are putting their hard work to use.

Camp Hope, the homeless encampment run by Transform Yakima Together, is now the home for the special structure.

"Our couples are in tents and we'd like to get into something a little bit more sheltered and accommodating," said Transform Yakima Together executive director Andy Ferguson.

Ferguson said this partnership with YV-Tech started well before the camp officially opened.

While this specific tiny home will serve as an office for Camp Hope's case manager, future homes the students build will become livable shelters.

"The kids are going to get the benefit of the training. The camp is going to get the benefit from receiving the homes so it's a win-win for everybody," Garcia said.

Five tiny homes are expected to be built at Camp Hope.

For students, this experience is just too valuable to be taken for granted.

"I'd hope that they realize that there's still people out here who really want to help out and that that would encourage them that's there's still people looking out for their best interests," said junior Gideon Riddall.

"It's an opportunity for them to connect to the homeless population and become aware of them and so we totally appreciate their generosity as well as the school itself," Ferguson said.

Camp Hope leaders said the number of homeless people staying here has gone up since they started. With more tiny homes in the works, that means more opportunities to help those less fortunate get back on their feet.

Ferguson adds they'll soon be sending a proposal to the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments to have tiny homes built on church sites in the Yakima community.

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