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Homeless survey slated for Jan. 24

Volunteers are currently being sought to assist the Homeless Network of Yakima County with its "Point in Time" survey of the homeless population, slated to take place on Jan. 24.

According to Tim Sullivan, a housing specialist with the Yakima County Department of Community Services, the purpose of the survey is to help provide a picture of the homeless issue in the county. "It also drives efforts such as the 10-year plan to end homelessness and leverages state as well as federal funding for homeless housing and services," Sullivan said.

Volunteers are needed to help with the survey, as well as to man Point in Time staging areas in Yakima, Wapato, Toppenish, Sunnyside and Grandview.

Training will be provided for survey volunteers and four volunteers are needed at each survey site.

Sullivan said it's important that volunteers contact training leaders prior to attending the training. There are four different training sites.

A training is scheduled for tonight (Monday) in Sunnyside at St. Joseph's Parish from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, a training session is scheduled in Toppenish from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Northwest Community Action Center, located at 706 Renchler Lane.

To participate in either training, contact Rodona Baysinger at 509-307-5127.

In Wapato, training is slated for Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Wapato Community Presbyterian Church from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. To participate in this training, contact David Hacker at 509-877-6337.

To participate in the Yakima training session, contact Sullivan at 509-574-1522 or Autumn Halloway at 509-574-1520. The Yakima training is slated for Friday, Jan. 18, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health, located at 402 South Fourth Avenue.

An additional Saturday training is slated to take place in Wapato at the Presbyterian Church from 10 a.m. to noon for those who were unable to attend the evening training sessions.

There are different staging areas in the communities on the day of the survey.

In Grandview, the Thursday, Jan. 24, staging area will be located at the Salvation Army office from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In Sunnyside, St. Joseph's Parish will be the staging area on Jan. 24 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a soup kitchen for area homeless and volunteers from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In Toppenish, the Jan. 24 staging area will be located at the Toppenish food bank located at 4 North B Street from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In Wapato, the survey staging area will be located at Noah's Ark, 117 East Second Street, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Food will be served from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In Yakima, the survey staging area will be located at the Southeast Community Center, 1211 South Seventh Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Meals will be served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Volunteers are also needed to help assemble care packages. Those wishing to donate items for the care packages can donate blankets, jackets, socks, gloves, scarves, jackets, coats, sleeping bags, backpacks, non-perishable food items, can openers, toiletries and flashlights. To donate items, drop them off at the Southeast Community Center, which is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about donating items, contact Karin Skone at 509-575-6114. To make a monetary donation, contact Autumn Halloway at 509-574-1520.

For information about the Point in Time survey, call Sullivan at 509-574-1522.

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