More people being forced out of their homes in Yakima County

More people being forced out of their homes in Yakima County »Play Video
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- Civil Deputy Curtis Thaxton spends his workday delivering eviction notices and helping landlords move tenants out.

It's something landlord Kathy Clark wishes she didn't have to deal with.

"It's horrible. You feel like you're a terrible person, you know. Nobody wants to put people out on the streets,” said Kathy. “I enjoy giving people homes but when they don't pay..."

That's when Thaxton comes in. He says it's a time-consuming job. From driving across the county, to staying with the landlord while the eviction takes place. Thaxton says he's feels that he's been busy as ever.

"You're dealing with either posting a place for eviction or an actual eviction every day of the week," said Thaxton.

Janell Alvarez was one of those given just three days to get out of the place she was renting.

"It's actually very stressful and emotionally draining and it's just difficult," said Janell.

Janell is not alone. Evictions in Yakima jumped 20% from 2012 to last year. Down the freeway in Benton and Franklin Counties, there were also increases in evictions. But the numbers were fewer than in Yakima.

The increase falls to the Sheriff's Office to enforce. Budget cuts left just one civil deputy position on staff.

"It's all I can do to keep up with it and I'm falling behind at times," said Thaxton.

It's meant the chief and patrol deputies have had to step in and help out at times. Taking away time from other duties.

"If we continue to see the increase we will have to look very seriously at adding somebody," said Robert Udell, Yakima County Chief Civil Deputy.

Evictions in Yakima County this year are on track to either meet or surpass last year's amount. Yakima County has had only one civil deputy since January 2013.