City of Yakima Says They're Cracking Down On Homeless Camps - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

City of Yakima Says They're Cracking Down On Homeless Camps

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YAKIMA, WA.- Cold weather is setting in, but surprisingly the City of Yakima says they're not seeing any less homeless sleeping outside, in fact they've seen a rise in the homeless sleeping and camping around the city.

Recently the city boarded up 120 structures that they found to be unsafe and unsuitable to live in after they found homeless people squatting in the abandoned buildings.

    

The city told us they'll start cracking down on the homeless camps and if they find people staying in these abandoned buildings they will be arrested.

    

On Wednesday Yakima's winter shelters opened up and anyone found sleeping or camping around the city will now be directed to one of the winter shelters.

    

They told us these camps aren't only against city zoning laws, but they're also a safety issue.

"The core of the effort is from a safety stand point, staying in those temporary shelters is not adequate housing for the folks who are living there," City of Yakima Spokesperson Randy Beehler told us.

    

Yakima Neighborhood Health has three temporary shelters that will run through March 15th. Englewood Christian Church at 511 North 44th Avenue and Central Lutheran Church at 1604 West Yakima Avenue will house men this winter. The Unitarian Universalist Church at 225 North 2nd Street will serve as a women’s shelter. All three shelters will be open from 4:00 pm to 7:00 am.

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