Submitted by Tacoma Housing Now.
TACOMA, WA – Wednesday afternoon, Tacoma Housing Now (THN) blocked the intersection of 56th St E and Portland Ave with coffins to protest the early closure of the warming shelter at the Eastside Community Center (ECC).
The shelter was supposed to stay open until March 31. Instead, it’s closing on February 28.
There are at least 40 people staying at the ECC and not enough beds to keep them out of freezing temperatures. THN is calling on the City of Tacoma to open another warming shelter for the people currently staying at the ECC.
THN spokesperson Rebecca Parson stated: “There was frost on the ground last night. The City must open another warming shelter, because we won’t stand for one more death.”
Thanks to THN’s occupation of Gault Middle School last year, the City of Tacoma extended the closure of the warming shelter from December 31 to March 31. THN demands that the City keeps its promise to keep the warming shelter open, whether in this location or another. Should the City fail to provide other suitable replacement shelter, Metro Parks must not cause the closure of the warming shelter at the end of February — rather, THN calls on them to provide funding for safe, affordable, and high-quality childcare in another of their many facilities, so that no child of an essential worker or unhoused neighbor suffers the consequences of the City’s short-sighted actions in breaking their promise to keep the warming shelter open.
Tacoma Housing Now is a coalition of Tacoma residents working to end homelessness throughout our city. We support direct action to end our city’s housing crisis and get everyone housed. We fight against real estate developers and their politicians, sweeps, the police, bureaucratic delays, and empty talk — and any obstacle that stands in the way of housing for all.
Our primary demand is a Community Land Trust including as many vacant, publicly owned properties as are necessary to house Tacoma’s entire houseless population.
More information: www.tachousing.org/ and Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.