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Inclement Weather Resources

Cooling Center Open July 29 through July 31, 2021

The Lighthouse Activity Center is available 8:30 AM to 5 PM on weekdays and 1 PM to 6 PM on weekends to people needing relief from severe summer weather and reduced air quality events. 


The center will open on days the weather is forecast over 85 degrees or air quality levels are designated as "unhealthy for sensitive groups." Guests will be required to wear masks and follow designated COVID-19 safety protocols.


Lighthouse Activity Center

5016 A Street

Tacoma, WA 98408

(253) 426-1282


Those seeking relief from the heat can also visit Tacoma Public Library locations during normal operating hours. Find additional cooling centers in Pierce County.


Find additional cooling centers in Pierce County



Information on Tacoma's Warming Centers


Warming Centers Closed for 2020-2021 Cold Weather Season

In response to community needs brought on by the continuing pandemic, the City of Tacoma, Metro Parks and community service providers activated temporary warming centers this winter during inclement weather season. These partnerships resulted in the availability of 195 additional shelter spaces during cold weather periods October through April. 

The Warming Centers were established under the City’s broad authority to enact programs and regulations related to public health, safety and welfare. During the COVID 19 pandemic, in addition to the City previously declaring a state of emergency related to homelessness, the City has the ability to quickly adapt policy and allocate funding to provide shelter and resources to people living in encampments in Tacoma and to mitigate community health and safety risks related to COVID-19. 


If you are currently seeking shelter, view available options here.

Contact Us To connect with staff regarding the Warming Center program, please email us or call (253) 591-5000.

Why is the City establishing Warming Centers?

The Warming Centers are a direct response to the need for additional shelter during COVID-19, which has limited approaches to increasing standard inclement weather shelter capacity. 

How can guests access the Warming Centers?

Access to the warming centers is made available by community service providers working with individuals in encampments, and the Homeless Outreach Team.

What services are available at the Warming Centers?

Warming Center guests are provided meals, sleeping mats, showers and face masks. Guests also have access to supportive employment programming and referrals to additional services to address barriers to housing, such as mental health and substance use disorder treatment.

How are the temporary sites managed?

As part of the operating agreement, the operator monitors the center and properties to ensure proper use of the facilities, so the community can continue to access outdoor areas. Tacoma Police work closely with the operator and community members to proactively address concerns related to the site. Community members can call 311 or (253) 591-5000 to contact their Community Liaison Officer and the non-emergency line at (253) 798-4722 to report criminal activity.

Why are Metro Parks facilities being used to provide services for individuals experiencing homelessness?

The Warming Centers are a direct response to the need for additional shelter during COVID-19. Physical distancing protocols have required shelter providers to utilize space that is normally reserved for winter expansion for their regular operations.


In addition to space shortages in shelters, distance learning has created new education challenges for children experiencing housing insecurity.


Since many public venues are currently closed for normal operations due to health restrictions, Metro Parks is helping reduce these barriers by providing vacant public facilities as a temporary solution to meet needs caused by the pandemic. Warming Centers are just one example to potentially address needs. Not all public facilities are equally suited to meet the same operating needs.


Three Metro Parks community centers are currently serving needs of unsheltered individuals. Distance learning support for unsheltered elementary and middle school children is provided at People's and Star Centers and a Warming Center has been active at the Eastside Community Center since late October.

How can I volunteer or donate to the Warming Centers?

To learn about current donation and volunteer needs, please contact alanna@valeovocation.org

How are Warming Centers funded?

The Warming Centers are funded entirely by Emergency Sheltering COVID-19 relief federal funding.

What other strategies are being used to increase winter shelter capacity?

We are funding The Rescue Mission's inclement weather overnight shelter expansion of 35 beds at the Holy Rosary Church and an additional 45 beds at Bellarmine High School which opened on January 1, 2021.