Homeless Find Shelter Downtown - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Homeless Find Shelter Downtown

YAKIMA, Wash. - The cold weather is definitely upon us and keeping warm at night at our own homes is something we all look forward to, but for some people in Yakima, a warm home isn't an option.

The city council Ok'd the Emergency Cold Weather Shelter Program. The First Baptist Church on Yakima Avenue served about seven people on Tuesday night.

But they say they've had as many as 15 people in the shelters at night. City councilman Neil McClure says it's important to give homeless people every opportunity they need to stay warm.

He says one homeless man needed shelter last week, but was turned away from another place because he was drunk.

"That is the type of person that could easily have died that night," he said. "And so by keeping this shelter open in yakima, I think we prevented a death that evening from somebody who would consume alcohol and passed out."

Now some shelters in Yakima have strict guidlines -- one of them not allowing anyone drunk in their facility.

McClure says it should be our job to help these people stay alive and by giving them a warm bed and food, it should improve their personal situations.

Now the new shelter program has only a few restrictions, keeping people warm and alive.