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City Authorized Emergency Shelter Sites

City Authorized Emergency Shelter Sites

City Authorized Emergency Shelter sites are permitted under the Declaration of State of Public Health Emergency. The City contracts with experienced emergency shelter providers to operate the sites, which include basic amenities, fencing, shelter, hand washing stations, garbage services, bathroom facilities, electricity and potable water. 

City-Authorized Emergency Shelter Sites are low-barrier and provide a safer alternative to unauthorized encampments. At these sites couples are allowed to stay together and pets are allowed. Drugs and alcohol are not permitted onsite. Click here to view our most recent report of client outcomes at emergency shelter sites. 


To stay updated on our emergency shelters, join our email listserv.

Tacoma Emergency Micro-Shelter (TEMS) Site-6th Ave and Orchard St

The City is working with First Christian Church to lease part of their property at 602 North Orchard Street to develop an emergency micro-shelter site in partnership with the Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI). It is anticipated that the site will be operational by the end of 2020.


Further details about the site development and operations will be posted as they become available. 

Stability Site

The Stability Site was launched in 2017 as an emergency response to the growing health and safety concerns created by homeless encampments in Tacoma for those living in and around them. The Stability Site accepts men, women and couples, and allows participants to keep their pets with them on site. Individuals are referred from encampments to the Stability Site by The Rescue Mission’s outreach team and the Tacoma Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team.

The Stability Site has proven to be a successful model with 39 percent of its
participants transitioning to housing. The City and its operator believe that success can be contributed to the 24-hours-7-day-a-week model and having partner organizations provide resources and service at the site.



Tacoma Emergency Micro-Shelters (TEMS) Site - 60th and McKinley

The City of Tacoma partnered with Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) and the Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI) to relocate and expand the Tacoma Emergency Micro Shelter Site at 802 MLK Jr Way to a THA owned property located at 60th and McKinley through 2021.

The site provides:
  • 50 shelter units, serving up to 65 individuals
  • Basic human amenities including restrooms, garbage services, handwashing stations and drinking water. 
  • The property is fenced and has 24-hour security with on-site management provided by the Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI)
TEMS T-Town Hall Meeting 

The City hosted a virtual town hall on June 4, 2020 to provide residents with more details about the project and hear questions and concerns. View the full town hall below in English or Spanish.



Due to the volume of questions, staff consolidated questions that were similar and provided answers.  To view questions and answers from the Town Hall, please click here.


To see the questions and comments as submitted by meeting attendees, please click here.


More information about LIHI micro-shelter operations can be found in our Frequently Asked Questions


TEMS Community Advisory Committee (CAC)


Community members are invited to join the Community Advisory Committee, which meets monthly to review operations and progress of the site, address questions, concerns and ideas from the public, and provide advisory input. 


Meetings are held virtually the second Monday of the month from 6 to 7:30 P.M.


Join the meeting here or by phone at (253) 215-8782. The meeting passcode is 825-8159-3484. 


For questions about the CAC, please contact Josh Castle

Former Tacoma Emergency Micro Shelter-802 MLK Jr Way

The City of Tacoma established an emergency micro-shelter (TEMS) site at 802 Martin Luther King Junior Way from December 2019 through July 2020 in response to the health and safety concerns caused by the growing encampment at People's Park.


The site provided:

  • 22 Emergency Micro Shelters, serving up to 35 individuals
  • Basic human amenities including portable toilets, garbage services, hand washing stations and drinking water
  • Perimeter fencing and 24-hour security with on-site management provided by the Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI)

Community Advisory Committee (CAC)

The TEMS site established a CAC to support site operations and troubleshoot any issues in the surrounding neighborhood while the site operated. Committee members included neighbors, service providers, and other community stakeholders. Learn more about how the CAC supported the site in the meeting details below:

Community Meeting Information

Prior to launching, a public meeting was hosted on December 4, 2019 by the City and its partner. Below are materials and resources shared at the meeting:

Contact Us

Allyson Griffith

NCS Assistant Director


(253) 591-5119