TACOMA, Wash. – The City of Tacoma’s Neighborhood and Community Services Department provided an update on its ongoing efforts to address homelessness at today’s Council Study Session.
Some of the highlights from today’s briefing include:
- The addition of 170 extra temporary shelter beds for inclement weather.
- 60 unauthorized encampment removals performed in Quarter Four, bringing the yearly total to 161 encampments with 1.6 million pounds of debris removed.
- More than 3,000 outreach contacts made by the HEAL Team (Homeless Engagement Alternatives Liaison Team) to people experiencing homelessness, with more than half expressing interest in services, and nearly 300 placed in shelter.
- An overall decrease in the number of 311 customer service requests related to homelessness by 19% compared to last quarter.
The Council also received information about the status of several contracts with non-profit providers for shelter. The Aspen Court shelter complex on South Hosmer Street will transition from temporary shelter to permanent supportive housing, with building renovation work beginning in 2024. The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) owns the property and will manage the building renovation work, as well as continue to provide on-site management and client services when the building re-opens. The Tacoma Emergency Micro-Shelter (TEMS) 4 shelter at South 69th and South Proctor Street, also managed via contract with LIHI, will have the current contract extended for six months through June 2024 when the shelter will transition to a new site and join the Forging Path Community shelter located at South 35th and Pacific Avenue.
The City has allocated $37 million for homelessness services and programs this biennium, and the City’s Strategic Plan to Address Homelessness recognizes that ending homelessness in Tacoma will require short-term solutions to address immediate needs like shelter, and long-range efforts built on public-private partnerships to address housing affordability in our community. The City’s Strategic Plan to Address Homelessness aligns with its Affordable Housing Action Strategy, which looks to strengthen access to rental assistance, establish a Workforce Development and Financial Empowerment program, and increase resources available to people facing a housing crisis.
More information about the City’s Strategic Plan to Address Homelessness is available at cityoftacoma.org/homelessness. A recording of today’s update will be posted within 24 hours at cityoftacoma.legistar.com.