New homeless shelter expected to be completed next year

New homeless shelter expected to be completed next year

YAKIMA, Wash.- Yakima Neighborhood Health has been working with the city for over a year to find a solution on how to help house the homeless population. This week they finished up the final legal ties in court regarding the new transitional housing shelter opening up in Yakima.

"The cities hearing examiner found that this project would improve the neighborhood, would help property values, and would reduce homelessness," said Leah Ward, Neighborhood Health Communications Manager.

This will be the first transitional homeless housing shelter in Yakima County. Up to 40 people can live there for a maximum of two years. Ward says its been proven that these types of establishments help communities.

"There have been proven to be successful in Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, so we are following a tested model," said Ward.

Some neighbors disapproved, saying it would bad for the area. Others say they think this could be a good thing, but that doesn't mean that they don't have potential worries.

"I've had family members who have actually ended up homeless because of addiction or alcoholism, so it does make since that they should have a place to go. But if you create an area for them to all come, then you create an area where there's more of them. At the end of the night, i'm glad they have somewhere to go ," said Cody Joncole, who lives near the shelter.

A case manager will be working with each person living in the shelter to help them be successful in society once they leave.

"Right now you've got an abandoned building that attracts break-ins and we are going to improve it significantly so it's going to be something for the city to be proud of," said Ward.

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