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Attendees speak during a Homelessness Task Force meeting last year. 

Yelm City Council members say they plan on bringing the five recommendations previously approved by the city’s Homelessness Task Force forward to the full council in the coming weeks during discussions focused on this year’s budget cycle.

Council members Joe DePinto and Molly Carmody, who served on last year’s specially commissioned homeless task force, say they plan on discussing task force-approved resolutions at their retreat next month in anticipation of bringing them to the council. 

In March, the city plans on reviewing a presentation at a study session. Afterward, the council will host two public meetings, then the council could motion to put any action or measure to a vote.  

At the Jan. 7 meeting, DePinto said he was in the process of finishing the homelessness task force’s final report and recommendations that will be distributed to council members. 

Back in October, the task force voted to move forward with five recommendations for the council: Hold a monthly clinic at the Yelm Community Center for service providers, establish a permanent homeless commission, increase law enforcement, review city ordinances on panhandling and continue to work with local nonprofits to provide services. 

DePinto, Carmody and other task force members say these recommendations could be implemented by the city at little to no cost. 

Yelm’s homelessness task force was a one-year ad hoc committee approved by the Yelm council in November 2018 to review and report on the existing resources for homeless individuals and see how the city could help facilitate needs within the community. 

The task force was established with $2,500 of city funding. Mayor JW Foster confirmed at a city council meeting last year that the council had used those funds. 

The creation of the homelessness task force and the public meetings hosted last year have garnered criticism from a majority of attendees who do not want additional services for the area’s homeless population. 

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