WENATCHEE — The cities of Wenatchee and East Wenatchee are one step closer to a low-barrier homeless shelter.

The Wenatchee City Council approved an agreement between the cities Thursday night. The East Wenatchee City Council is expected to vote on the agreement in October.

The agreement establishes the Columbia River Homeless Housing Task Force, an advisory committee that will focus on maintaining and implementing the local homeless housing plan, including a low-barrier shelter.

The task force will consist of seven voting members. Each city council will appoint one city resident, one county resident and one representative of a nonprofit organization with experience in low-income housing. Mayors Frank Kuntz and Jerrilea Crawford will jointly appoint an individual who is or was formerly homeless.

The agreement also names the city of Wenatchee as the lead entity for the program — a role similar to the one it held within the Chelan-Douglas Homelessness Committee until earlier this year. Wenatchee will be entitled to 7% of the funds to cover administrative costs.

In addition to administering funds — a projected $1.7 million in annual revenue from taxes the cities passed earlier this year to fund a low-barrier shelter and other homeless services — Wenatchee’s duties will include:

  • Managing day-to-day programming, including staffing
  • Developing a public outreach program to gather feedback and provide information on homeless programs
  • Coordinating with community partners
  • Participating in the Chelan Douglas Homeless Housing Advisory Group

Councilmember Linda Herald said the agreement is an important step for the cities.

“I’m really excited that we’re finally going to get this put together,” she said. “It’s not going to be the total answer, but it will help.”

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Sydnee Gonzalez: (509) 661-5216

gonzalez@wenatcheeworld.com or

on Twitter @sydnee_gonzalez