YAKIMA, Wash - During the first week of each month is when checks are given for things like disability and social security. Staff at the First Baptist Shelter say when some homeless people receive those they will use the money to spend a few nights in a hotel, instead of a shelter.
Just a day before the First Baptist Shelter opened last Friday, volunteers were being trained to work the three extreme weather overnight shelters in Yakima. The low attendance now is actually helping, while background checks are done on the new volunteers.
"Given the fact the we had to drop the first few days of this month, it actually has given us the time, we are ready, we have quite a few more people [volunteers] involved," says Dave Hanson of the Homeless Network of Yakima County.
Fifty-four volunteers were trained and will be ready to go this week. The First Baptist Church shelter has a capacity of 12. Sunday night they had four people stay there and as we get further into the month, Hanson says the number will get bigger. Even Monday night, six more people came in to stay.