Yakima City Council discusses rules instated for the homeless en - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima City Council discusses rules instated for the homeless encampment

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YAKIMA, WA - Last night the Yakima City Council held a meeting, and part of the discussion involved discussing how law and order would be enforced in the homeless encampment.

The encampment has been at its current location on the corner of East Chestnut Avenue and South 3rd Street since mid-July, and has continuously grown since then...making it harder to manage. This has prompted the city to tighten up their rules.

"I went to our city manager and stated that we have to kind of take that place back because there are certain individuals that think they can do what they want there," said Joe Caruso.

Even before the encampment was moved to its current location, rules and guidelines were in place that needed to be followed, but as of Friday the City has made some updates.

"The idea is to enforce the rules that were originally developed, tighten them up a bit, and make sure that everybody in the encampment is aware of the rules and that they will be enforced," said Randy Beehler, Yakima City Spokesman.

There are a total of 12 rules, and those are, as stated by the City:

"1. All persons choosing to use the temporary encampment must be registered with the City of Yakima.

2. Each registered person shall be assigned a stall. Your belongings must fit in your designated stall. Any items found outside designated stalls, in the common areas, or in stalls not assigned to any person shall be removed without notice. This includes carts.

3. All persons shall follow the sanitary facility rules posted on the portable toilets. Keep sanitary facilities clean, tidy, and useable for all other persons.

4. No illegal activity of any kind is allowed in the temporary encampment.

5. No violent behavior will be tolerated.

6. Quiet hours are from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Noise disturbances will not be tolerated.

7. All pets must be leashed at all times. Unleashed pets may be impounded by animal control. All pets shall be licensed through the City of Yakima.

8. No alcohol or drugs are allowed on premises.

9. No children, and no persons under the age of 18, are allowed in the encampment at any time for any reason.

10. No littering on surrounding properties, streets, sidewalks or alleys.

11. Treat all people with respect, including service providers, neighbors and other persons using the temporary encampment.

12. All persons using the temporary encampment shall assist City staff, police, fire personnel, and Yakima Health District personnel upon request.

Anyone who violates any of the rules will be removed from the encampment. In addition, some cleanup will also be done next week."

"All the hoarding that's there, we will be going with a refuge truck and we are going to let them know that it's not going to be tolerated anymore," said Caruso.  

Many at the encampment are still waiting to be housed through the master lease program, which is now full. At the moment, at least six homeless have been housed.

The encampment is expected to close on November 15th when winter shelters open back up.