Dear General Members,
I would like to thank you all for the warm welcome I received at the General Membership meeting on Wednesday night. I was great to see so many familiar faces as well as meeting so many influential and dedicated members of our community. I’m so grateful YVCOG has provided me the most amazing opportunity to have a proactive role in this fight against homelessness.
As many of you may already know, Yakima County was approached by the Department of Commerce to participate in a state wide 100-day challenge with the goals of “Zero unsheltered Families” and “Lasting System Changes”. With the state of our current homeless situation, YVCOG and the Homeless Planning and Policy Council saw this as an excellent opportunity to jump start much needed action. We are currently 25 days into the challenge and excited about making progress and learning new tools to drive the “Housing First” approach that we are adopting. This challenge is not going to be without its struggles, but I think we are all ready to take a stand. I’m reaching out to you fellow community members, not as “the lower valley” and not as “the upper valley” but as Yakima County, a unified functioning body to work together to accomplish this task of housing ALL unsheltered families.
How can you help??? We all know the need is there, but what do we do, right? The first step is identifying those that are in need. If you know an unsheltered family please contact one of the numbers listed below and we will give you direction how to get these people help. I’m truly looking forward to working with each and every one of you and would love to learn what you all feel are the strengths and weakness in our current systems with the goal of getting better! Please contact me if you have ANY questions!
Crystal L. Testerman
Interim Homeless Program Manager
Yakima Valley Conference of Governments
Fax (509) 574-1551