Letters to the Editor

Homeless: Shelter without services does little good

Re: “What will it take to prompt Tacoma’s faith-based groups to help the city battle homelessness?” (Matt Driscoll column, TNT, 11/7).

The better question would be: “What will it take for the community and the city to rise up and help battle homelessness in Tacoma?”

As an advocate of the Housing First model, I have field experience helping families who face many obstacles in securing and maintaining permanent housing.

In looking back on my experience, I believe that simply providing more shelters is a rudimentary action in response to this city’s homelessness crisis. Those who are experiencing homelessness need more than shelters; they need shelter AND services to aid in housing stabilization.

There is a small population of housing advocates who are already providing shelter and services. But they aren’t enough to alleviate this crisis.

We as a community need more people of all faiths and backgrounds to come together and provide services to help build and strengthen families to ensure people experiencing homelessness never have to encounter it again.

Change starts at the local level. It’s time for the community as a whole to rise up and provide the services these families and individuals need.

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