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Homelessness in Yakima County
Local Homeless Five-year Plan for Yakima
Yakima County’s 5-year Plan has been developed guide the direction of the homeless program in Yakima County to better serving those in need. The five-year plan will accomplish its goals by creating a plan that prioritizes Housing First core values.
Housing First is an approach that centers on providing homeless people with housing quickly and then providing services as needed. What differentiates a Housing First approach from other strategies is that there is an immediate and primary focus on helping individuals and families quickly access and sustain permanent housing.
Reducing homelessness takes determination, perseverance and collaboration. Our intent is to create solutions that will reduce homeless in Yakima County so that it is BRIEF AND RARE by providing the homeless with better access to safe, decent, and affordable housing.
In 2004, more than 40 Service Providers and other homeless advocate organizations banded together to create the Homeless Network of Yakima with the intention to end homelessness in Yakima County. While the Homeless Network of Yakima County operated under Yakima County, an ambitious 10-year plan to increase affordable housing and services known to be critical for successfully transitioning people out of homelessness was created in 2005.
On July 1, 2015, after being under Yakima County for 10 years, the Yakima County Commissioners decided to move the homeless program to Yakima Valley Conference of Governments because of the close working relationship it has with its member cities throughout the entire County. Today, Yakima Valley Conference of Governments’ Homeless Planning and Policy Council is formally recognized as a Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Committee by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The CoC is designed to promote community-wide planning and strategic use of federal, state and local resources to address homelessness; improve coordination and integration with mainstream resources and programs targeted to people experiencing homelessness; improve data collection and performance measurement; and allow the local community to tailor its programs to the particular strengths and challenges in assisting homeless individuals and families.
Working together, both YVCOG and the HPPC, seek the assistance of the community including city officials, faith based organizations, businesses, schools, law enforcement, landlords and various other providers that can contribute to this very important goal of reducing homeless in Yakima County so that it is BRIEF AND RARE.