Union wants word no public funds used to promote religion

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is warning city officials they have failed to ensure taxpayer money is not being used to promote religion at a temporary Washington homeless shelter.

But the Yakima Herald-Republic reports the organization that runs the Camp Hope shelter in Yakima argues the claim, saying the religious activities alleged by the union never happened.

The union says failure to provide assurances that government funds won’t be used to advance religion at homeless operations provided by faith-based organizations will put operations at odds with federal law.

A spokesperson for the ACLU could not be reached for comment and it was not immediately clear what, if any penalty, local authorities could face if protections against mandatory religious instructions are not included in contracts with Transform Yakima or other groups that might operate a homeless facility.