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Lease Agreement for Tacoma Emergency Micro Shelter (TEMS) Approved

Lease Agreement for a Tacoma Emergency Micro Shelter (TEMS) Site at 6th and Orchard


October 20, 2020



Tanisha Jumper, Media and Communications, tjumper@ci.tacoma.wa.us, (253) 591-5152
Megan Snow, Media and Communications, msnow@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5051


Tacoma City Council Approves Lease Agreement for a Tacoma Emergency Micro Shelter (TEMS) Site at 6th and Orchard


The City of Tacoma is working with First Christian Church and the Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI) to operate an additional Tacoma Emergency Micro Shelter Site at 602 N. Orchard.


The City Council approved a lease agreement through July 2023 with the church at the October 20, 2020 Tacoma City Council meeting. 


“The community is facing a lack of shelter beds for people experiencing homelessness this winter as we grapple with the added COVID-19 concerns during winter inclement weather,” said Council Member John Hines. “We all know that no one should be left outside in the rain and wind, and I am proud that I am part of a city that responds quickly to find partners to serve and shelter some of our most vulnerable neighbors.”


The City is continuing to work with LIHI, who has been operating TEMS sites in Tacoma since the first site opened late last year.


“Over the past few months, I have heard from many residents about the site and their concerns for the health and safety of our neighborhood,” Hines said. “I am confident that the City, LIHI, the church and the neighborhood, will be able to work together to address these concerns. When I think about this project, I see it not simply a needed emergency response, but an investment into the future. We are putting families on a path to better lives. ”


The City is anticipating the operating cost for the site through July 2023 will be approximately $1.9 million.
The new site will provide up to an additional 40 micro shelter units and will accommodate no more than 60 people at a time. Referrals to the new site will primarily come from encampments and existing shelters that need to employ physical distancing measures recommended by the Center for Disease Control and will assist in creating shelter bed space as we prepare for inclement winter weather.

The City is conducting outreach efforts to people who live and work in and around the new location. The recording of the October 7 virtual community meeting is available for viewing at cityoftacoma.org/authorizedencampments.


More information about the City’s homelessness response is available at cityoftacoma.org/homelessness.