With the winter months setting in and the weather rapidly getting colder, our already vulnerable homeless population needs your help. Homelessness is on the rise in Washington State and Yakima county is no exception. Estimates on the number of homeless in our community vary, but information provided to us revealed some stunning facts. For example, there are approximately 2,561 homeless students in Yakima County, as reported by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Of these, 573 are high school age, 545 are in middle school, and 1,443 are enrolled in elementary school. It is clear to us that we must address this issue as individuals and as a community.

Last year, ACT Yakima worked with several organizations in the upper and lower valley to identify much needed supplies, food items, and clothing the homeless in our community needed to help them through the winter. This year we are expanding that effort by partnering with the Homeless Network of Yakima County. They have provided information on their website that we are using as a call to action for the community.

Click here to see a regularly updated list of items most needed for Cold Weather, the Youth Shelters, and "Welcome Home" kits for newly housed adults. Instructions on how to donate are also included.

The greatest need the organization reports right now is for volunteers to serve as overnight hosts at the Young Adult Extreme Winter Weather Shelter. Click here for Information about volunteering.

In the coming weeks we will be scheduling additional events to help the homeless population in Yakima county. For more information please contact ACT Yakima or the Homelessness Network of Yakima County directly.