East Chestnut Avenue encampment moving to new location - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

East Chestnut Avenue encampment moving to new location

Posted: Updated:

YAKIMA, WA - After months of discussion and debating the homeless encampment in Yakima on East Chestnut Avenue will temporarily be moved to another location.  

last night the city council voted 4 to 3 in favor of relocating the homeless encampment to an empty parking lot, located on East Walnut Avenue and 3rd Street, across from the Yakima Police Department. 

Council took this route after an emergency motion to move the encampment off the sidewalk failed unanimous approval. The city is now working to move the encampment from the privately owned Neighborhood Health Services location to the publicly owned parking lot through permits.  

"A temporary use permit would allow that sort of activity to take place on publicly owned property for a short period of time, maybe even a specific period of time," said Randy Beehler, City Spokesman. 

Leah Ward, spokeswoman for Neighborhood Health said no matter where the homeless get moved they will be there to help them. 

"Whatever the city decides to do, move the encampment or if it decides, we will be there.

William Fletcher lives near the encampment and to him, the move is good news. He has picketed for the city to move the homeless since the third of this month. 

"I want the city of Yakima to do something, to try to help these people," said Fletcher. "Move them away, give us our neighborhood, it is a win, win situation."

The encampment will only be at the new location until housing vouchers are distributed to the homeless next month.