The former Martin Luther King Housing Development Association is under new management, and that management is about to get some of the input it has said it welcomes.
The Tacoma Avenue Coalition will host a community forum at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 18, that’s Wednesday, at the Tacoma Dominican Center, 935 S. Fawcett Avenue.
Jim Anderson, who organized the shelter’s transition to Catholic Community Services, will speak about the plans for running the program that has been sometimes troublesone and sometimes troubled.
As its new director, Anderson wants to make Tacoma’s largest emergency shelter a better neighbor, and a better host. The building at 1143 Tacoma Avenue South has its main entrance in the back alley.
Guests gathering there for hours with no security have attracted predators and made the alley dangerous and unsightly. Anderson intends to have security, a courtyard, extended hours and a no-loitering policy. That should be better for neighbors and guests.
He’s also interested in hearing from the people who, practically speaking, live there. What services do they need? How can they find real housing?
Based on the improvements Anderson implemented when he took over management of CCS’s Hospitality Kitchen up the hill, this is a promising development, said Jeanie Peterson.
Peterson, Director of Community Initiatives for Hilltop Action Coalition, is encouraging folks to go to the event.
“This forum should also be informative for those concerned about the homeless population and the issues that people are facing on Tacoma Ave, and even the situation at the jail, library, etc.,” she sent out to her vast e-mail list.
For anyone interested in learning effective, responsible and responsive ways to help the most damaged and desperate people in the community, attendance should be mandatory.