The Yakima Union Gospel Mission has started a new program called Search and Rescue in an effort to help more homeless people. Mission Executive Director Mike Johnson says they've partnered with West Side Church in Yakima and every Friday church and mission representatives walk the streets of Yakima and speak to people who are homeless. "The goal is to go out there and spend 30 to 40 minutes at an encampment and really listen to their stories and tell them of things that could end their homelessness."
Johnson says last Friday was the first time the team was able to speak to people on the streets. The team uses a van donated by the church to transport the team and to bring people to the mission if they're interested in doing that. Every Friday throughout the year the team will be talking with homeless through the program called Search and Rescue. Johnson says they want to gain the trust of people on the street and let them know they can change their lives.