Tents, Other Items by Homeless People, Found in Local Parks - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tents, Other Items by Homeless People, Found in Local Parks

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Items like tents, clothes, and even dogs have been found in the parks. Items like tents, clothes, and even dogs have been found in the parks.

RICHLAND, WA- Hikers spotted tents, clothes, and other items by homeless people in some local parks and the city has been working to solve the issue.

Hiking along the trails near Columbia Point and the Chamna Natural Preserve is not a place you would expect to see tents, stray dogs, and clothes, but it is a problem that is not new to the city.

"We do occasionally see homeless tents and others staying overnight in our parks.  We ask that those individuals move along," said Joe Schiessl, Director of Richland Parks and Public Facilities.

Richland said they usually see these problems when it gets warmer.  With one full-time park ranger and another part-time, it can be hard to control this problem along with regular park duties.

"We have 62 parks and like 3,000 acres to take care of.  We can't be everywhere all the time, so a lot of times we do depend on our citizens or others to make us aware of situations in our parks and this is one of those cases," said Schiessl.

When they do spot something, there are one or two tents up or maybe three or four sleeping bags.  The rangers try to make rounds in every park a couple times a week.  The city wants to keep their parks neat but they realize the homeless need to be taken care of.

"On one hand we want to make sure that the park is clean and available for everyone to use, but on the other, to make sure those individuals can get the help they need," said Schiessl.

The city said the campsites seen have been cleaned up, but if hikers see any items or tents that should not be in the park, let the city know about it, and they will take care of it.


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