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Encampment Cleanups and Site Reclamation


The cost of cleaning up an encampment can range between $2,000 and $15,000 per cleanup.


Encampments create a public safety concern for people who live in the space, because of the exposure to human waste, drug paraphernalia and/or inclement weather.


How Cleanups Work

  1. City workers find or are notified of an encampment site.
  2. The City’s Homeless Service Coordinator and a Tacoma Police Department Officer visit the site and determine next steps.
  3. The officer and coordinator provide a 24-hour notice that the property will be cleaned up and offer those living in the encampment assistance finding shelter and services.
  4. On the scheduled cleanup day a private contractor or City services will clean up the site to meet Tacoma Municipal Code standards for public health and safety.
  5. Site Reclamation may occur once the site has been cleaned to help prevent the encampment from returning.

Site Reclamation

Site Reclamation is the process of making public and private spaces safer and more welcoming for people who live or work in the area to be, while discouraging criminal activity and loitering.


Site Reclamation is used in conjunction with community outreach and service delivery to help individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness get settled into more permanent housing options, as well as using it to reduce blight and increase public health and safety.


Types of Site Reclamation

Natural Barriers

Boulders, trees or other natural barriers can be installed to create a less appealing environment for encampments.


Man-made Barriers

Fences, murals or artwork can block access to prevent trespassing and reduce encampment activity.


Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED)

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) can help reduce the chance of criminal activity on your property. It provides guidelines for property owners to use to lower or prevent environmental factors from creating an opportunity for crime.