Proposed Park Draws Attention To Walla Walla Homeless - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Proposed Park Draws Attention To Walla Walla Homeless

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A proposed makeover to a public park in Walla Walla is focusing in on a growing issue in the city. A number of homeless people are taking up residence in the downtown area. A proposed makeover to a public park in Walla Walla is focusing in on a growing issue in the city. A number of homeless people are taking up residence in the downtown area.
WALLA WALLA, WA - A proposed makeover to a public park in Walla Walla is focusing in on a growing issue in the city. A number of homeless people are taking up residence in the downtown area.

An artist's rendering of Heritage Park shows what the downtown park could look like. It could make for a more urban and accessible place for recreation in the heart of the town.

One concern brought up in a city council work session was that the benches would create more space for homeless. NBC Right Now went to Heritage Square Park Friday and found a man had already made the bench in the existing park a place to sleep for the night.

We decided to speak to someone who knows what it's like to have to make a park a home.

"It's not fun. Especially at this time of year you get...you're in a tent or you're living on the sidewalk or whatever. There's a lot of us out here right now that...there are a lot of people that are homeless right now in Walla Walla,” said Nine Ross who has lived in Walla Walla and has been homeless for a number of years at one point in her life.

When we asked her why she thinks there's so many homeless in the city she explained, "I think it's because of the fact that there's not enough low income housing. There's not...there's resources, but they're really limited."

Ross is a disabled Walla Walla resident who lost her job. She says sometimes a bench isn't a choice rather a last resort. As the park project moves forward it's been discussed that designs will reposition benches in well-lit areas. 
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