Submitted by Kevin Glackin-Coley, Tacoma Pierce County Coalition to End Homelessness.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Coalition to End Homelessness decries the violent attack on a group of people experiencing homelessness in Tacoma’s 6th Avenue Neighborhood Thursday night, which resulted in one person dying and several people being hospitalized. This was not an act of violence among people experiencing homelessness but rather an attack by housed people on the residents of a homeless encampment.
This attack underscores the reality that our community must ensure that there is sufficient housing for all people. This is a public safety issue for the entire community. If people have safe places to stay, it will create a safer community for all of us – unhoused and housed alike.
We understand the tensions that exist in neighborhoods where people experiencing homelessness establish encampments. However, these tensions cannot be used as a justification for acts of violence, but rather as a clarion call to individuals, organizations and local, county, and state officials to take the necessary steps to ensure that there are safe, warm, and dry housing options for all people.
The members of the Coalition, consisting of organizations and individuals throughout the County, remain committed to working together with all interested parties to develop these necessary housing options.