Submitted by KM Hills.
I read an article online recently about how downtown Tacoma has become the desired place to live, for Millennials, in the South Sound. Compared to when I was a kid, when Tacoma was boarded up and empty, it has made a huge and very positive turnaround. Tacoma seemed to begin its turnaround when the train station became the Federal Courthouse and then closely followed by the addition of UW Tacoma branch. The area around UW Tacoma really does have a good feel and working downtown I have watched new buildings go up with more under construction today. There is no doubt that the progress continues.
What I don’t understand is the homelessness and why the City Council has not maintained the progress it had previously made. Letting the public camping ban expire has not done any good for anyone. Driving south on Yakima between 6th and 8th I was dumbfounded by how the City allows the mess, that comes with homelessness, to go unchecked with trash and tents along the sidewalk. People risked walking in traffic to avoid the sidewalk which is no longer is accessible.
I agree with advocates that homeless is not a crime and in no way suggest criminal action but I do, at the same time, strongly advocate for enforcement. The City steps in when a building is in disrepair and becomes unlivable so what is the difference? Why do they allow the unlivable conditions along Yakima Ave and other places in the City? Are these the conditions the advocates feel are adequate?
Andrew Yang, past presidential hopeful & current candidate in NYC, made a recent statement about mental illness and homelessness which I fully support. There need to more transitional and treatment beds to address the issues that cause homelessness. Tacoma you already collect the 1/10 of 1% to address these needs so please show us the progress! Reinstate the camping ban for the good and safety of everyone.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.