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Two Sunnyside churches agree to house homeless

This winter the city of Sunnyside will have two overnight shelters for people who are homeless.

Dave Hanson, founder and executive director of Sunrise Outreach Center in Yakima, is coordinating the Extreme Winter Weather Shelter Program for the Homeless Network of Yakima County. He said he has received approval to open shelters in Sunnyside at the First Christian Church and the Free Methodist Church in Sunnyside.

Now all Hansen needs to breathe life into the Sunnyside project is volunteers.

He's looking for 60 volunteers so he can open the doors in Sunnyside. People interested in volunteering should contact Hansen at 509-225-9310, Monday through Friday, until 4 p.m.

Each volunteer is required to attend one 90-minute training class. Training dates and times for Sunnyside are Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 9, at 10 a.m.

All three training classes will be held at the First Christian Church, located at 321 S. Eighth Street in Sunnyside. Dinner for participants will be included with the first two trainings. Brunch will be included with the third.

Hansen said each shelter will have 15 beds and people needing shelter will be fed three times a day. At least two volunteers will be needed at each shelter on each night.

An actual date for when the shelters will open has not been set yet. Hansen said he needs the volunteers first. Once he has those, he said, the shelters could open within a week.

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