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County OK's outreach pact

YAKIMA - Offenders in Yakima County's DUI court program now have an option for their community service - working with Sunrise Outreach.

That's according to a contract Yakima County commissioners approved with Yakima-based Sunrise this past Tuesday.

A faith-based non-profit, Sunrise Outreach offers housing for the homeless as well as food and clothing services for those in need.

Ken Trainor is the agency's director of operations, and he says providing DUI offenders the opportunity to perform community service is an extension of an agreement already in place with the county's drug court.

The agreement reached Tuesday is at no cost to the county and Trainor said those doing community service will perform tasks such as working in a food or clothing bank.

During winter weather, he said those doing community service for a DUI offense may also help as overnight monitors at the extreme weather shelters in Sunnyside and Yakima.

"The facilities for the shelters are older, so we have to have one person awake at all times for a fire watch," Trainor said.

As the weather warms up this spring, Trainor said DUI community service can be performed by working in a community garden that Sunrise Outreach has established or by distributing sandwiches.

The community service agreement with Yakima's DUI court went into effect on Tuesday of this week and extends through the end of 2013.

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