Mayor builds coalition on homeless; Tacoma shelters and warming centers open

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland has convened a group of elected officials in Pierce County to advocate for policies to help alleviate the region’s homelessness crisis. The newly formed Pierce County Housing Stability Coalition includes Puyallup Mayor John Hopkins, Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson, Milton Mayor Deborah Perry, and Pierce County Council Members Doug Richardson, Connie Ladenburg and Rick Talbert.

“I formed this coalition because homelessness is a complex issue that affects all of Pierce County – rural, suburban and urban communities, not just Tacoma. A unified approach to advocate for policies and resources will be more effective than a piecemeal one,” said Strickland. “Many factors can contribute to homelessness such as chemical dependency, domestic violence, mental health issues and access to living wage jobs. This coalition will advocate for policies and programs that help improve housing stability and provide needed help to those experiencing homelessness.”

“My colleagues from the Pierce County Council and I look forward to this opportunity to bring an integrated and comprehensive approach to addressing the many facets of homelessness,” said Richardson.  “The coalition provides an important venue for meaningful progress.”

The coalition has developed a set of priorities for the upcoming legislative session in Olympia. These include expansion of successful programs such as Housing First and the McCarver Elementary School Housing Program, and renewing and increasing the document recording fees which are dedicated to helping the homeless. The coalition also supports policies to help local jurisdictions create more affordable housing, and will advocate for legislation that addresses predatory mobile home lending practices.


Tacoma shelters and warming centers 

Weather forecasts predict below freezing nights and below average temperatures through the weekend. Shelters and warming centers are available during cold weather for Tacoma residents to use to stay warm.

The City of Tacoma provides funding for drop-in centers for youth and young adults and overnight shelters for young adults, individuals and families throughout the City. Tacoma’s shelters expand their capacity to provide sheltering services on severe weather days, based on their resource availability and safety.

Street outreach workers, including Positive Interactions and PATH teams communicate with people experiencing homelessness about shelter and warming centers. The City encourages agencies and people experiencing homelessness to check with the local shelters in the community for sheltering.

Shelters and warming centers are available at the following locations:

Nativity House is open from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m., every night, including weekends and holidays at 702 South 14th Street

Tacoma Rescue Mission is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week at 425 South Tacoma Way

Salvation Army is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week at their main facility, 1521 6th Ave. and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at their drop-in center at 1110 S. Puget Sound Ave.

Oasis Youth Center is open to the LGBTQ community and questioning youth and young adults ages 14-24 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Mondays, from 4-10 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and from 6 p.m. to midnight Saturdays at 2215 Pacific Ave.

Tacoma/Pierce County Overnight Young Adult Shelter is open to young adults ages 18 to 24 from 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., 7 days a week at the Beacon Activity Center, 415 South 13th Street

Tacoma/Pierce County Youth and Young Adult Drop-in Center is open from 1-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the Salvation Army Family Lodge, 1501 6th Ave.

Beacon Activity Center is open to senior citizens, 50 years of age or older (60 years old and older starting January 1, 2017), from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at 415 South 13th Street

Lighthouse Activity Center is open to senior citizens, 50 years of age or older (60 years old and older starting January 1, 2017), from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at 5016 A Street

All Tacoma Public Libraries are open to the public during normal business hours

– City of Tacoma