Getting to Know Yakima's Homeless - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Getting to Know Yakima's Homeless

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YAKIMA, WA. -- Yakima's City Council is concerned about the number of homeless people in the city and held a study session on the issue today. We hit the streets today to talk with people who are homeless and find out how they got to this point.

When you become homeless having someone to count on is important.

 "The one person that stuck by me is my dad," Matthew Langton said. "And when I started this program and I stuck with it hearing that he is proud of me, it brought joy to my heart."

After serving jail time, Matt came to the Union Gospel Mission, a homeless shelter, to get his life back on track. Of the hundreds that stay here, some, like Matt, are addicted to drugs but others were just one paycheck away from losing their home. They may be without a home but they are not without hope.

"I feel in limbo all the time," Dean, who did not want to share his last name, said. "But I do have the goal of getting out of here and the means to get out of here."

A study session today at the Yakima City Council, discussed the homeless situation which despite lowered numbers, remains a concern.

If people decide to not accept the help of the Union Gospel Mission then they come to places like a homeless camp and live on their own.

For 8 months he has rested his head under a hole filled tarp, but at least he isn't alone.

"You're hungry aren't you?" Tom says to a stray kitten he has adopted. "Yeah she's hungry."

He doesn't want a homeless shelter to take away his independence.

"That place is a great place don't get me wrong, the lord opens it's doors like that. But you can't have a little pet, you can't have a girlfriend," he says.

According to the Union Gospel Mission, attendance at their homeless shelter has dropped by hundreds of people over the past 10 years. The Yakima City Council plans to continue to strengthen their commitment to help local groups tackle this complex issue.