The Yakima City Council Tuesday is expected to talk about a letter from the ACLU that says the city needs to make sure tax money isn't being used to advocate religion at Yakima's Camp Hope homeless shelter operated by the faith based organization Transform Yakima Together. The director Andy Ferguson says the allegation that they somehow force religion on people is false...he says everything tied to religion is optional. "Nothing we do requires anybody there to attend a service or participate in religious activities to receive the services we offer."
Ferguson says he doesn't believe the issue will be a problem and he says they're moving forward with plans to open a permanent shelter this summer on city owned property near the wastewater treatment plant.
Earlier this month the city Healthy Communities and Neighborhood Building Committee forwarded a request to the city council for an opinion on the matter from the State Attorney General's Office. The council is expected to discuss the letter and the request at Tuesday's meeting set for 6:00 p.m. at Yakima City Hall.
Ferguson will be on The Morning News at 8:20 a.m. Wednesday to talk further about the homeless issue in Yakima.