Leaders break ground on Tacoma's next center for homeless families

Gov. Chris Gregoire today helped break ground on the Adams Square Family Center, a new 36-unit facility in Tacoma which serves homeless women and families with children. Through the facility, which will be located at 2909 S. Adams St., the Tacoma Rescue Mission will offer housing, meals, youth activities, education services and parenting training to Pierce County residents.

“I’m very touched to be part of this wonderful occasion,” Gregoire said. “There is no greater calling than what you do — provide women and families with kids a place to be safe, warm and fed when there is no alternative but the streets.”

Once construction is complete in spring 2010, Adams Square will replace and significantly expand the mission’s family shelter on 15th Street. That shelter has become cramped and inadequate to serve the needs of Tacoma’s and Pierce County’s homeless families, particularly those with members who have physical disabilities.

“The issues related to homelessness, domestic violence and at-risk families are great, and our ability to confront these issues has limits,” said David Curry, Tacoma Rescue Mission chief executive officer. “Adams Square will greatly expand our efforts to give needy women and families an opportunity to live happy, productive lives.”

Curry said that every month, the Rescue Mission must turn away between 100 and 150 households — many of them with children — because the mission is over capacity.