We recently wrote an editorial applauding the City of Tacoma’s effort to close homeless camps and keep them closed by offering campers alternative places to live where help is offered but few demands (i.e. sobriety) are made of them.
With that in mind, I was interested to hear about the problems that Seattle is encountering in moving its homeless population out of downtown and into other neighborhoods. Residents of those neighborhoods are none too happy about their new neighbors, hanging their complaints on the fact that the city is building new housing projects and packing homeless people into them.
Tacoma City Councilwoman Julie Anderson said Tacoma’s effort differs in an important way. Its Encampment Solutions Initiative will be using existing market-rate rental units that are spread throughout Pierce County. No more than four former campers will be located within one development or apartment complex.