Camp Hope preparing for winter in tents while dealing with electrical installation delays
YAKIMA, Wash.- As we approach colder temperatures next month, Camp Hope is doing all they can to make sure the people who live there, which is anywhere from 65 to 100 people, can stay warm during the winter.
Executive Director at Transform Yakima Andy Ferguson says this year they decided on not trying to find another building to house the homeless for the winter, because of people in the city making it almost impossible for them to do so.
"For one reason, it was blocked by a neighborhood. We had one instance where someone bought a building so that we couldn't use it. We had another instance were the owner was black mailed if they weren't going to give us the access to the building. So there's a lot of resistance having a homeless shelter in any neighborhood in Yakima," said Ferguson.
This summer they had to move back to their old location behind the old K-Mart building. Ferguson says this time around, they have brought in several military tents durable for all seasons.
"They are not anything that's going to come down, it's not your usual family tent," said Director at Camp Hope Mike Kay.
Kay says they are using generators to keep the tents warm, and added a home-made floor to keep the heat in.
Kay says they've been working with the city to get electrical and utility insulation built in, and says it won't be done until next month.
One woman has been living at Camp Hope for almost a year after she says she was abused by her old roommate. Tina Perkovich says she had no where else to go after she left, and Camp Hope took her in. She says even with it being 28 degrees at night, the tents are staying pretty warm for now.
"I think god for Camp Hope. They saved my life you know? They saved my life," said Perkovich.
Kay says once the electrical and sewage is built in, they hope to add two more military tents and house 60 more people.
"We're determined and we are confident that we will be able to keep people as warm and safe as they can possibly be during this winter season," said Kay.
Camp Hope is asking for warm clothing donations that you don't wear anymore.