Columnist Kathleen Merryman, upon reading the Crosscut article below about the panhandling ordinance, weighs in with this:
Tacoma now has a variety of Housing First programs. They include those that get housing for the chronically homeless, the people living in encampments, veterans, and people with mental illness.
Tacoma is following up its initial Alcohol Impact Area with another that will cover most of the south and east parts of town.
Tacoma shelter and drop-in center providers have coordinated their hours to provide maximum shelter and meals for those who need them. That’s important, because people here know that if they want to feed down-and-out folks, there’s a safe and efficient way to do it.
Ask me about the encampment I visited in the county last month. Stacey Emerson and I met three people enjoying a few six-packs. They were about to head out to the 512-Canyon Road off- and on- ramps to raise money for "dinner."
In Tacoma, we’re about solving the problem, not enabling the people caught up in it.