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Council Member Hines on Homeless Services and Strategy Update

A Statement From Council Member John Hines on Homeless Services and Strategy Update


June 13, 2023



Christina Caan, Office of Council Member John Hines, ccaan@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 219-0679
Maria Lee, Media & Communications,
maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2054


A Statement From Council Member John Hines on Homeless Services and Strategy Update

As some of you may recall, after months of research and discussion, I brought forward the ordinance that became Second Amended Substitute Ordinance 28831 last October. The ordinance prohibits camping and the storage of personal belongings in a 10-block radius around temporary shelters in Tacoma, as well as Aspen Court, and all public property within 200 feet of Tacoma’s mapped rivers, waterways, creeks, streams, and shorelines. Intended to ensure – first and foremost – that our most vulnerable populations receive the support and services they critically need, the ordinance was an important first step in our broader efforts to address the health and safety impacts of encampments.


I am very pleased to see initial signs of progress. We are on the right track.

Data shows 100 percent voluntary compliance with the ordinance, and that mass arrests and fines have not come to pass. Outside of those areas defined within the ordinance, data also shows that complaints regarding the impacts of homelessness are not surging. We are getting people off the streets and not just moving them into new areas.


Since November 15, 2022, we have removed 62 encampments and more than 1 million pounds of debris. Even more importantly, we have reached 694 individuals who are interested in services and 123 people have accepted shelter.


I applaud the outstanding work of our Homeless Engagement Alternatives Liaison (HEAL) team. The initial signs of progress we see are a testament to the effectiveness of their approach, one that has always been founded on compassion. 

I am also supportive of the extension of the Emergency Micro-Shelter Site at 6th and Orchard and its continued operation in my neighborhood. I am a strong advocate for our micro-shelters and support the extension of this site’s operations, until the location is ready for broader development. I have heard from many of my neighbors who have moved from their initial concerns towards support of the residents of the site. This site is invaluable for our community, and a reminder that more neighborhoods, like my own, play a critical role in helping our city address homelessness.


Addressing homelessness in Tacoma will require short-term term solutions like the Emergency Micro-Shelter Site at 6th and Orchard, as well as long-range efforts built on public-private partnerships to address the broader issue of housing affordability in our community.


We need to continue to create pathways for people to move out of encampments, in to shelter and housing, and onward to a bright future. Working with one another, I am confident we will continue to see additional progress.”




Once available, details for community meetings regarding each emergency micro-shelter site will be posted at cityoftacoma.org/authorizedencampments and on the City’s social media platforms. They will also be distributed via mailer to area residents.