The goal of the Public Awareness Committee is to change the narrative regarding homelessness by educating and informing the community of both successes and challenges faced by those experiencing homelessness. This will be accomplished by the following objectives:

  • Foster a community of practice by hosting community conversations and/or Meet and Greets to discuss homeless and housing issues as well as clarifying common terms and definitions

  • Remove stigma and misconceptions around homelessness by collecting and publicizing personal stories of both struggle and success

  • Rally community members into action by being a part of hands-on activities such as community clean-ups, clothing drives, etc.

  • These objectives will be guided by a multi-level marketing and communications plan which will include the following:

    • Policies to advocate for person and strength-based language when talking about housing and homeless issues

    • Messaging to clarify between the person and the circumstances which may lead to homelessness including a review of causes and conditions

    • Focused communications to individuals and groups that may be ambivalent or unsure around the issues relating to homelessness

    • Advocacy around outreach and communications countywide and not focused in one geographic area.

The Committee meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 1pm.

Public Awareness Committee


Chair - Geoff Baker

  • Blaine & Preciosa Tamaki Foundation 
  • Catholic Charities Serving Central Washington
  • City of Yakima
  • Beth Dannhardt - Community Member
  • Chelsey Michel - Community Member
  • Heather Simmons - Community Member
  • Isaac Grey - Community Member
  • Leslie Hatton - Community Member
  • Mary Stephenson - Community Member
  • Spencer Hatton - Community Member
  • Community Member
  • Steve Hill - Community Member
  • Comprehensive Healthcare
  • Entrust Community Services
  • Generating Hope/Noah's Ark
  • Inversion Design Build
  • Justice Housing Yakima
  • Northwest Community Action Center
  • Northwest Justice Project
  • Rod's house
  • Union Gospel Mission
  • United Way of Central Washington
  • Yakima County
  • Yakima Greenway Foundation
  • Yakima Housing Authority
  • Yakima Neighborhood Health Services
  • Yakima Valley Libraries
  • YWCA of Yakima