A severe weather declaration allowed three Tacoma shelters to extend their hours and expand the number of available beds to homeless individuals seeking protection from the heavy rain and wind that hit the region.
The city of Tacoma made the declaration Thursday.
Despite transforming its kitchen and dinning areas to accommodate 40 emergency beds, the only additional guest to come Thursday night to the Salvation Army on Sixth Avenue was a wet cat, Maj. Martha Sheppard said.
As the storm intensified Friday and with the news it will be at its worst Saturday, Sheppard said she hoped more people would come in to get out of the rain and wind.
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Frank Jackson of the Tacoma Rescue Mission said an additional 80 emergency beds will be available, on top of 126 existing beds. Traffic at the shelter increased Friday, Jackson said, but he expected a surge overnight.
The Salvation Army provides shelter to single women and families only.
Catholic Community Services’ Nativity House expanded its 167-bed capacity by 80 after the city’s declaration, said homeless and adult services director Nick Leider.
An additional 55 people stayed at the shelter Thursday night, he said.
The shelters will maintain the additional, emergency capacity through Monday, as allowed under the city’s severe weather declaration.