YAKIMA, Wash.-- We ran a story last week about a family dealing with homeless people who were using their yard as a toilet. Viewer response prompted us to take a closer look at the options available for homeless people in the valley.
Sometimes escaping a domestic violence situation leaves people homeless. The YWCA of Yakima has programs to make sure women who flee abusive situations don't end up on the street. They operate an emergency shelter where victims and their children can stay for up to 90 days.
However they've recently received a $300,000 grant from Safeco Insurance that will help them fund a long-term solution to homelessness. They feel their two-year transitional housing program will help break the cycle of violence.
"They face the reality of...I either go back to the abuser, live on the streets, or they try to go to another shelter, and that's not a lot of choice when you have kids that you have to take care of. So, the transitional housing addresses that number one barrier," YWCA Executive Director Erin Black says.
The transitional housing program, called "bringing it home", has 16 new units of low-cost housing. Residents are also able to get clothing assistance, counseling, and job readiness training. So YWCA is helping an at-risk population from becoming homeless.