Yakima County has been chosen to receive $181,340.00 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

The selection was made by a National Board that is chaired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and consist of representatives from American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, The Jewish Federation of North America, The Salvation Army, and United Way Worldwide.  The Local Board was charges to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high need areas around the country.

A Local Board made up of United Way Central Washington, Red Cross, Catholic Charities, The Salvation Army, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services, Northwest Community Action Center, Yakima Valley Conference of Governments, Triumph Treatment Center, Sunrise Outreach Center, Generating Hope, People for People, Work Source, Yakima Indian Nation, and Generating Hope will determine how the funds awarded to Yakima County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area.  The Local Board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds made available under this phase of the program.

Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must:      1) be private voluntary non-profits or units of government.  2) Be eligible to receive Federal funds.         3) Have an accounting system.   4) Practice non-discrimination.  5) Have demonstrated the capacity to deliver emergency food and / or shelter programs.  6) And if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board.  Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Programs funds must contact Ken Trainor at 221 East Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. Yakima WA 98901 or call 509-225-9310 or email for an application.  The deadline for applications to be received is June 30th 2017.

Competitive Process Results in Changes for Yakima Valley’s Homeless Program

For the first time ever, a competitive application process resulted in significant changes to the Valley’s homeless funding ‘landscape.’

“Existing and new service providers will receive funding for new projects that will help us break out of the emergency encampment cycle we’ve been in. A potentially funded project includes a tiny-homes proposal led by Transform Yakima Together,” said YVCOG Executive Director Larry Mattson. Transform Yakima Together is the organization managing the encampment near the old K-Mart this summer. Despite the efforts of Yakima Neighborhood Health Services to provide services to campers, last summer’s encampment at 3rd Street and Walnut Avenue quickly became an unsafe and unsanitary community eyesore.

The competitive process resulted in reduced funding for Yakima Neighborhood Health Services (from $1.4 million to $534,000), and no funding for Triumph Treatment Services. “Twenty-one applications were scored by our 7-member citizen panel. The panel includes Valley residents from a variety of backgrounds including business, mental health, clergy, local government and an at-large citizen. This committee had difficult choices to make. They chose to emphasize longer-term projects,” said YVCOG program manager Crystal Testerman. The citizen panel focused on proactive long term solutions rather than reactive emergency services. Because of this funding shift, there will be some who try to cause fear that we will have hundreds of homeless people on the streets now.

When funding is shifted to a different homeless service provider, the homeless person or family receiving services do not necessarily lose their services. The new providers begin to serve these clients with either the same services, or possibly with new services. The federal and state funds determine how the providers can spend the money and what type of services they can provide.

Utilizing the ZoomGrants online tool, the panel scored 21 different applications, requesting more than $4.1 million, from an available pool of $1.9 million. “The results of this first-ever competitive process change the landscape for homeless services in the Valley in a good way,” according to YVCOG Executive Committee Chairman Jim Restucci, Mayor of Sunnyside. “New service providers with new ideas will receive funds. With these recommendations from our citizen scoring panel we’re turning the corner, taking steps to really get ahead of the homeless problem.”

YVCOG staff is working with newly-funded agencies to make the transition as seamless as possible for previously homeless clients. Despite those efforts, we can expect to see some people become temporarily homeless as old service contracts end and new contracts begin. “We have a broad network of service providers. I know they’ll do their best to ensure that their homeless clients continue to receive the services they need,” said Crystal Testerman.

Although cutting off or reducing funds to current service providers was difficult, we need to find solutions that deliver long term results. It is costing our community millions of dollars each year providing services. We need a different approach.

Homeless Program funds are public dollars. These funds come from your federal taxes and local document recording fees. With your money, we are required to manage these funds to ensure competitiveness and compliance. The competitive process ensures that business is conducted with integrity, fairness, and openness. This provides any qualifying organization with the chance to receive public funding.

Recommended 2017 Consolidated Funding Awards:

  • Transform Yakima Together – $236,000Capital Improvement Project – Construction of tiny homes to provide housing for unsheltered families and individuals including chronically homeless.
  • Yakima Neighborhood Health – $120,000Capital Improvement Project – Construction costs associated with a transitional housing unit to serve chronically homeless individuals, homeless veterans, and homeless elderly over 62.
  • Entrust – $100,000Community Investment Project – Certified Peer Mentoring with case management and providing employment opportunities for unsheltered families and individuals including the chronically homeless.
  • YWCA – $100,000Operating Costs – Operations for a housing program, case management and emergency services for victims of domestic violence.
  • Rod’s House – 54,000Operating Costs – Operations for a youth drop-in center to serve unaccompanied youth ages 13-24.
  • Catholic Charities – $304,354Rental Assistance/Operating Costs – Provide rental assistance/subsidy a.k.a. the Young Adult Housing Program (YAHP) which serve homeless clients 18-24 years of age. Services will include intensive case management.
  • Northwest Community Action Center – $353,684 – Rental Assistance – Provide permanent housing for families with children. Also will provide essential needs items and potential housing assistance for low income adults who are unable to work for at least 90 days with a disability referral from DSHS, a.k.a Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) clients.
  • Yakima Neighborhood Health – $414,000 Rental Assistance – Provide essential needs items and potential housing assistance for low income adults who are unable to work for at least 90 days with a disability referral from DSHS, a.k.a Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) clients.
  • Lower Valley Crisis Services – $46,665 – Emergency Shelter – Provide emergency shelter including case management for victims of domestic violence with geographic focus in the Lower Valley.
  • Transform Yakima Together $180,000 Emergency Shelter – Provides a 24-hour “managed” encampment while in the process of acquiring a permanent facility for a low barrier homeless shelter serving unsheltered individuals and couples including the chronically homeless.

YVCOG Contacts:


Crystal Testerman, Homeless Program Manager

Larry Mattson, Executive Director

Employment Opportunity – Financial Coordinator

Position now closed – Thank you all who have applied!

Employment Opportunity with Yakima Valley Conference of Governments: Financial Coordinator

About the Financial Coordinator Position:
This position is a new position. The Yakima Valley COG is a small group of highly professional and dedicated staff committed to making a difference in the Yakima Valley. Although the primary focus of the current position will be financial coordination specific to homelessness, there is an opportunity for this individual to work with colleagues assigned to transportation, land use and human services as needed.

Primary Responsibilities:

The Financial Coordinator will report to the Homeless Program Manager and performs the assigned job duties under general supervision as follows:

  • Interprets federal, state, local and internal regulations and policies
  • Develops and monitors fiscal billing system to ensure compliance with legal and contractual provisions.
  • Coordinates and evaluates fiscal monitoring of billings.
  • Reviews actual expenditures compared to budgets for programs to ensure no over-runs and that unallowable costs are not incurred.
  • Reconciles monthly sub recipient invoices and prepares A-19 invoices for Department of Commerce.
  • Reconciles and certifies contract and grant close out.
  • Advises management on the need for budget modifications, changes in regulatory requirements and the adjustments that are required in allocating between grants or contractual modifications to vendors and sub recipients.
  • Verifies allow-ability of costs and performs analysis of disbursements to regulate cash for multiple tiered grant spending sources.
  • Oversees and monitors the required documentation for sub recipient contacts,
  • Serves as YVCOG’s liaison to funding agencies and other municipalities by maintaining files for grants, reports, and contracts, reimbursement requests as required.
  • Provides technical assistance to staff, program manager, and sub recipient staff regarding federal and state regulations, eligibility requirements, and contractual obligations for new grants.
  • Properly track and monitor program costs and time periods of obligated funds.
  • Assists with on-site fiscal audits of sub recipient agencies to ensure adequate support documentation exists for expenditures. Prepares reports on audit results and participates with management to develop recommendations and corrective action plans.
  • Attends training regarding federal and state compliance requirements, grant specific training related to budgets and allow-ability of costs and other applicable financial accounting updates.
  • This list of job responsibilities is not all inclusive.

For more information about the Financial Coordinator please click here

Homeless Planning and Policy Committee – Legal Notices

  • You are hereby notified that YVCOG’s Homeless Planning and Policy Committee will meet on Monday, May 15, 2017. This notice is required because the meeting is held outside its regularly scheduled date/time and/or place. At 10:00am, a Special Meeting will be called to order at the Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management at 2403 South 18th Street Union Gap, WA 98903. Due to scheduling conflicts, the meeting was rescheduled.


  • You are hereby notified that YVCOG’s Homeless Planning and Policy Committee will meet on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. This notice is required because the special meeting is held outside its regularly scheduled date/time and/or place. At 10:00am, a Special Meeting will be called to order at the 2nd floor Conference Room of the 300 Building located at 311 N. 4th Street, Yakima, WA 98901 (YVCOG Offices). This special meeting will cover the new RFP contract year and project selection.

Homeless RFP Media Announcement:

Homeless RFP Media Announcement:

Yakima Valley Conference of Governments (YVCOG) is seeking Requests for Proposals for programs that will address the immediate needs of the chronically homeless in Yakima County.  Funding is available for projects in an amount up to $100,000.00 for this purpose.  To apply for funding please go to: . The deadline for applications is March 9, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.  Awards will be determined on approximately March 20, 2017, and funding will be available thereafter.  Please note this money is available for new projects, serving unserved or underserved homeless populations immediately, and is not intended to be used for ongoing maintenance or operation of current programming.  Additions to current programming may apply for funding.  This is a one-time grant of funding outside of the upcoming YVCOG RFP process.  For questions, please contact Crystal Testerman, Homeless Program Manager at 509-424-4695 or .