YAKIMA, Wash. -- The city of Yakima is taking its first steps to establish a permanent shelter for people experiencing homelessness by forming a committee to draft guidelines for what the project might look like.
The Yakima City Council voted earlier this month to rezone a 2.6-acre property near South 22nd Street and State Route 24 to allow use as a potential site for the shelter. The property is northeast of Camp Hope, a temporary homeless encampment near the city’s sewer plant.
City staff are working on a list of names for a nine-person committee that would draft a request for proposals and request for qualifications for the project.
That list could include two council members, two community members, an expert on programs, an expert on housing and one representative each from Yakima County, the Yakima Greenway and Yakima Arboretum, according to city documents.
The list of potential members will be submitted to the city’s Partnership Committee in December, City Manager Cliff Moore said Tuesday at a council meeting. In January, council members will review and approve the list, with the goal of putting out a request for proposals for the project in the spring.
The cost won’t be known until the committee identifies what the shelter will look like. The county will use $300,000 it received in one-time PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) money to develop the property and plans to use homeless funds it receives from the state to help build the shelter.
The goal is to have the project completed in two years, when the temporary status of Camp Hope expires. The city is working to extend water, sewer and power lines — a $215,000 project paid for with county homeless funds — to the area to serve the temporary camp and eventually the permanent shelter.