Yakima city rules having Camp Hope leave site temporarily for two weeks
YAKIMA, Wash.- In less than a month, people at homeless camp Camp Hope will have to pack their bags and and stay somewhere else for two weeks.
The city says by law, they have to do this in order for it to be considered temporary housing. Some locals aren't happy with it, arguing that it's unfair to make them move during a time where temperatures could hit single digits.
"If they want to make it some other arbitrary date at least make it were it's A: not two weeks before Christmas, and B: where it's so costly because of the winter conditions," said Camp Hope Volunteer Tyler Shepherd.
Union Gospel Mission is spending nearly $5,000 to buy military tents like the ones at Camp Hope, and they are letting its occupants stay in their parking lot during those two weeks.
Executive Director at Transform Yakima Andy Ferguson says those funds could've been used for helping people who need it most in the city.
Yakima City Manager Cliff Moore says this isn't anything they've surprised them with. They made this agreement with camp hope this summer Camp Hope before they back to their original location, and says they chose that time frame after looking at what other cities have done.
"We've looked around at other jurisdictions at other temporary encampments and we feel that the six month time limit is an appropriate amount of time for this purpose," said Moore.
Ferguson says no where in the cities definition of temporary housing does it say that it must be every six months. They say even though they wish the city would be more lenient on the situation, they are making the best of what they've got.
"We don't necessarily agree with city's statute because there is no specific thing that must be six months, but it must be temporary. From our position it is a hardship, but it's what we have to do," said Ferguson.
Camp Hope is allowed to stay at their old location until 2020.