Despite being sued by the Yakima Greenway, the Yakima City Council is moving forward with plans to build a homeless shelter near the Greenway Pathway in Terrace Heights. The council is looking for volunteers who are interested in serving on an ad-hoc committee being formed to review design elements related to the potential homeless facility. In November, the City Council approved a rezoning of property in Terrace Heights that would allow the city to open a permanent homeless shelter.
The city estimates that building a homeless facility is still several years away.  The specific parameters of the project must first be developed and funding for construction and operation of such a facility has not yet been identified.

A news release from the city says the ad-hoc committee is expected to meet every two weeks for the next few months to review design elements related to a potential homeless facility including, but not limited to, site considerations, opportunities and constraints, potential wrap-around services to be provided at a facility, and funding.  The ad-hoc committee will ultimately make a report and recommendations to the City Council. The committee’s report and recommendations are expected to be presented to the council later this spring.

Anyone interested in applying for the ad-hoc committee can download an application from the city's website at yakimawa.gov -- or pick up an application at the City Clerk’s office at Yakima City Hall, 129 N. Second St. Applicants need to check the “other” box on the application and write in “Ad-Hoc Homeless Facility Review Committee” on the line adjacent to the “other” box. Applicants also need to provide a 100-word (or fewer) written statement expressing why they are interested in serving on the panel.

The application process is open now through 5 p.m. Feb. 11. Applications need to be mailed or turned in in person to the City Clerk’s office at Yakima City Hall.

The council is expected to appoint members to the ad-hoc committee in mid-February.  Questions regarding the application process for the ad-hoc committee can be directed to Communications & Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler by calling (509) 901-1142 or sending an email to randy.beehler@yakimawa.gov.