Homeless women's cold weather shelter can't open in YakimaPosted: Updated:
YAKIMA, Wash- It's that time of year where you could literally freeze to death sleeping outside. Yakima's extreme weather shelters help give some relief to the homeless but all of them won't be opening as planned.
Sunrise Outreach is will open the their first extreme weather shelter of the year on Tuesday November 15 at the First Baptist Church. The food has been delivered and the beds are ready to go, but it's volunteers that make the operation possible, especially the overnight monitors required by law to keep an eye on everything. The lack of those monitors is the reason the men's shelter is opening on schedule and the women's shelter is not.
"The women's shelter, the situation is I'm short, quite a bit, I cannot even open tomorrow [Tuesday]", says Ken Trainor, of Sunrise Outreach.
The women's shelter needs at least 20 more volunteers to do overnight monitoring before they can open. Having a place to sleep at night in this weather is a matter of survival. And some people will do anything to get their basic needs met.
"To try and get into a hotel room or whatever the women could be selling themselves the men tend more toward burglary and things like that so actually when the shelters are operating crime rate drops", says Trainor.
Sunrise Outreach relies on the generosity of the community for food donations, and the space to house the shelters, but at this point they need people to donate their time.
To be an overnight monitor volunteers must complete one training session. Volunteers are asked to volunteer approximately once every two weeks. Sunrise outreach has volunteer trainings on Tuesday nights at seven at Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Yakima. 221 East Martin Luther King Blvd (509) 225-9310. http://www.sunriseoutreachcenter.com/page/Housing-the-Homeless.aspx