Support our Work

The Homeless Network of Yakima County was formed in 2004 under the leadership of United Way of Central Washington, Yakima County Department of Human Services, and the City of Yakima Office of Neighborhood Development Services.  Our purpose was to ensure broad-based representation of local providers, non-profits, community members and local government in the development of a plan and actions to address homelessness in Yakima County.

Homelessness is a community issue and solving it will require strong collaborations and partnerships between all aspects of the community since it impacts all members of the community. Each person has unique housing needs and solutions must be tailored to each person, including the hidden population of those in inadequate housing.

We are governed by our membership, not by a specific leader or board.  While individual organizations may focus on specific populations, housing types, or age groups, we are able to focus on the system as a whole.  The membership has the final authority, and that membership has identified the three areas of Advocacy, Public Awareness, and Public Policy as the main areas of focus. Here are some examples of the work we are doing in those three areas:

  • Advocacy – Our current project is raising enough money to build and maintain a downtown hygiene station for members of the public – one where you do not need to be a customer or have a special code or key.  We believe that access to facilities is vital not only for personal dignity, but for public health.
  • Public Awareness – We want to change the narrative regarding homelessness by educating the community of both successes and challenges faced by those experiencing homelessness. More importantly, finding ways they can be a part of the solution. In the last year, we have collected and distributed 21,000 items to people sleeping outside. 
  • Public Policy – Investments in Prevention and Rapid Rehousing are crucial in addressing homelessness.  In order to do that, we need more affordable housing.  We are working to pass the 1/10 of 1% Affordable Housing tax which could bring 3-4 million dollars annual to build much needed housing. 

One of our partners in this work is you – and all members of our community. 
Together we can do what we cannot do alone.