Community members voice concerns over permanent indoor homeless shelter

Community members voice concerns over permanent indoor homeless shelter

YAKIMA, Wash. - Organizers of the homeless indoor shelter here in Yakima want to work together with the community to solve homelessness.

The city's hearing examiner accepted the shelter's application to become permanent but now the application is going through an appeal process.

Community members said they plan on appealing the examiner's decision. They met with shelter organizers Monday to see if they can work together to find a permanent housing solution for the homeless.

The community agrees on the need to care for the homeless they just want to come to the best solution.

They said if the shelter becomes permanent on Englewood Avenue, security will need to be increased in the neighborhood.

Yakima City Manager Cliff Moore said even if the shelter becomes permanent, the homeless living at the shelter may have to move out while the building is brought up to code.

"It sort of depends on how much work they have to do in order to make the facility code compliant and if it's a great deal of work," he said. "They're actually engaged an engineer and they're looking at all the conditions that were placed on the application by the hearing examiner."

The shelter's lease to operate temporarily expires on March 15, so they are asking the city for an extension.

"So while they're trying to figure out what their next step is in terms of are they going to stay, are they going to get final approval to convert that current location to a permanent facility," Moore said.

The lease extension is on the city council's agenda for Tuesday night's meeting. Moore says if approved, the extension will last through June 30.

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