Yakima officials are working with the Yakima County Homeless Network to create safe shelters for homeless adults and, for the first time, kids in the valley this fall and winter.

Dave Hanson, the pastor and Executive Director of Sunrise Outreach Center which helps run the shelters, says city officials are concerned about the safety of shelters in local churches. He is working with city officials to try and come up with a solution. “I’m now putting together a proposal that we hope the city will support so we can open the shelters on the date we planned.”

That date is Nov. 15 so between now and then Hanson hopes to work out an agreement with the city of Yakima that will allow shelters for both adults and kids.

For the past seven years Yakima has allowed churches in the area to sidestep fire regulations and shelter people who have nowhere else to go. This year, city officials want the fire concerns addressed.

Three churches in Yakima plan to house homeless people for a total of 120 days this winter: the Unitarian Church, the Englewood Christian Church and the First Baptist Church.