The city of Puyallup has reached extreme tension with New Hope Community Center and the homeless epidemic. In the last year, there has been a 26 percent increase in homelessness in Pierce County. We don’t feel safe where we once felt comfortable walking the trails by the Puyallup River and Bradley Lake Park. Unregistered sex offenders and burglars who live in encampments in the unincorporated county add to the fear in the community. The homeless who choose to live this way are being enabled.
While I applaud the help that has been provided, the problem is that the homeless are being treated with resources that are freely given without reciprocation. New Hope is too lenient with its patrons. They have trashed the river banks with garbage, human waste and drug paraphernalia, and not held accountable. I’m a long-standing Puyallup citizen and Pierce College student, and I’m concerned with the welfare of my community. I want my children to feel safe in the city they’ve been raised in.