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Housing First

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The City, uses the Housing First model. This model is identified as an innovative solution to dealing with chronic homelessness and eliminating homeless encampments in Tacoma in a safe, efficient and humane manner.


Currently Greater Lakes Mental Health Care and MDC (Making a Difference in Community)  are funded partners to administer the program. Both agencies have been very successful with providing a high level of services, and both programs are at full capacity.


Housing First is a nationally recognized best practice model that centers on providing housing quickly and then providing other services as needed. The Housing First approach differs from other strategies because there is an immediate and primary focus on helping residents quickly access and sustain permanent housing.


This housing strategy recognizes the value of people having the permanence and foundation of their own housing. It also focuses on providing additional services on the clients schedule and terms. The housing units are scattered among apartment buildings in Tacoma and surrounding Pierce County. Providing housing and services to the individual is paramount.

Links to Other Housing First Programs

Cleveland, OH
Albuquerque, NM
Seattle, WA


Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Building Partnerships: The Key to Success

Building partnerships has been vital to our success. We currently collaborate with a wide range of groups including Tacoma Police, Tacoma Rail, Community Based Services, Public Works, Streets and Grounds, Urban Planning, CPTED, Finance, Legal, Metro Parks, Safe Streets, Green Tacoma and many others. We also rely on our established relationships with community organizations that specialize in services needed by many Housing First residents.


More than 100 of the City’s hardest to serve, chronically homeless individuals, are now living in permanent housing, but there is still a lot of work to do. In Tacoma, it is estimated there are more than 200 chronically homeless individuals living on the streets and in encampments.


2015 Member Resource Guide 

Housing First Enrollment Process

Homeless Services Presentation


Contact Information

747 Market Street
Room 836
Tacoma, WA 98402
311 or

(253) 591-5000


Erica Azcueta

Management Analyst III 


Tiegan Bradbury

Management Analyst II