TOPPENISH, Wash. - Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC) stepped up to help Camp Hope open their cold weather shelter in Toppenish this year by donating up to $124 thousand to help with operating costs. 

Director of Camp Hope in Yakima Mike Kay didn't think the cold weather shelter would open this year because of a lack of funds. According to Kay, on average, it takes about $31 thousand to operate the shelter each month. However, the city was only going to reimburse them for $40 thousand. 

The CEO of YVFWC Christy Trotter said they were in a position to use the clinic's general operating funds to help open the shelter this year. 

The Senior Vice President of the clinic, Lisa Campbell-John, said not having a cold weather shelter is a risk to the community.

"Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic understands our patients need more than a visit to the doctor’s office to get healthy," Campbell-John said. "If we want to improve the health of our communities, we must help our patients meet their most basic needs."

Kay said the clinic stepping up really shows they care.

"When Farm Workers stepped up like that, that was big deal," Kay said. "It really does show they're saying we are family."

Now the race against the declining temperatures is on, as Camp Hope rushes to get supplies for the Toppenish shelter.

"Putting up a shelter in this short of time is almost darn near impossible but we are hoping to catch a couple breaks, get some staffing challenges taken care of as well," Kay said.

Camp Hope is budgeted for seven staff members at the Toppenish shelter. The shelter will have enough room for at least 50 people. Kay said he plans to ask the city to allow up to 60.

Kay said they are reusing some supplies from previous years but are waiting on tents and other necessities. 

One donor helped provide some blankets, but Kay said they are still in need of sleeping bags, pillows and other supplies. If you'd like to volunteer or help provide supplies, visit Camp Hope's website.