MDC: Randall Townsend Apartments dedication ceremony Aug. 20

Making a Difference in Community (formerly the Metropolitan Development Council), a non-profit organization that provides services to homeless and low-income families in Tacoma and Pierce County, will host a dedication ceremony this month to mark the grand-opening of the Randall Townsend Apartments in Tacoma.

The $4.1 million project renovated the former Baywatch Apartment Building, located at 502 S. Seventh St., near downtown Tacoma, into a 35-unit facility that will serve previously homeless individuals living with disabilities. The facility aims to offer 24-hour staffing and easy access to all of MDC’s health, education, and employment services.

The 95-year-old building is named after Randall “Randy” Mark Townsend, a Tacoma man who was born in 1960, joined the Navy in 1979, and was released three months later due to a mental illness. While living on the streets of Tacoma, a group of four people attacked Townsend beneath a bridge on March 23, 2003. Townsend, 42, spent nearly three weeks in a coma before he died on April 12, 2003, as a result of the attack. Townsend’s sister, Sandra Herrell, is expected to share her brother’s story during the dedication ceremony.

The event, which will also mark MDC’s 50th anniversary and provide visitors an opportunity to lean more about the organization’s new evaluation and treatment center, will be held on Weds., Aug. 20, at 3 p.m., at 721 Fawcett Ave., in Tacoma.

More information is available online at