Podcast | A decades-old solution to chronic homelessness in Yakima

Reporter Mai Hoang discusses the growing issue in Central Washington and the efforts to build permanent supportive housing.

External photo of a hotel building

Neighborhood Apartments, a permanent supportive housing unit, is a former Yakima motel, seen on June 1, 2023.  (Amanda Snyder/Crosscut)

Big cities like Seattle and Spokane get most of the attention when it comes to homelessness in Washington state. But housing instability is not limited to the borders of major metropolitan areas. 

For this episode of the Crosscut Reports podcast, we look at a smaller Washington city that has gotten less attention when we discuss homelessness or possible solutions: Yakima. Like larger urban areas, the Yakima region has recently seen significant growth in the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness and housing instability.

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Host Sara Bernard talks with Mai Hoang, Crosscut’s Central and Eastern Washington reporter, about one solution that service providers are doubling down on right now: permanent supportive housing. 

It’s a longer-term alternative to emergency shelters for the unhoused, and the system includes services such as case management and connections to various forms of health care. Data shows permanent supportive housing works, but challenges remain – not least, finding the funding to sustain it.

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