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City Authorized Emergency Shelter Sites

City Authorized Emergency Shelters 

City Authorized Emergency Shelters are permitted under the Declaration of State of Public Health Emergency and provide a safer alternative to unauthorized encampments. We contract with experienced providers to operate the sites, which at a minimum include fencing, hand washing stations, garbage services, bathroom facilities, electricity and potable water. 


For 2021-2022, we have allocated- $7.6 million to operate authorized encampments in Tacoma. Our funding sources include Federal HUD Funding (ESG CV-2 and CDBG/ESG), Washington State Department of Commerce, CARES Act, Mental Health Substance Use Disorder Sales Tax and General Fund. The cost to operate authorized encampments is typically higher than traditional sheltering models because the level of services vary from standard shelter models. 


Site offerings and guest requirements vary by location and operator, but the model of services at each site can broadly be categorized as either a micro-shelter site or a  mitigation site. 


Micro-Shelter Sites

Micro-shelter sites offer non-congregate sheltering where individuals or family units have their own designated shelter unit assigned to them for the duration of their residency. The sites are also open 24-hours and community services and case management services are available on-site. On-site supportive services are included as part of the overall operating cost. We currently partner with the Low-Income Housing Institute and Catholic Community Services to operate micro-shelter sites. 


View our most recent client outcomes.


Tacoma Emergency Micro-Shelters - S. 69th and Proctor Street

In early fall 2021, the Tacoma Emergency Micro-Shelter Site at E. 60th on McKinley was re-located and expanded by 20 units at S. 69th and Proctor Street on property owned by City of Tacoma.


The site offers:

  • 66 shelter units
  • 24-hour site staffing and perimeter fencing
  • On-site case management and supportive services
  • Communal kitchen, laundry and community spaces
  • Restrooms, showers and garbage services 

Residents of this location are referred by street outreach teams that support people currently living in outdoor encampments in our community. Adults 18 years and older, including couples, are eligible to live at this site. All residents agree to follow a code of conduct and work toward obtaining permanent housing. 


Join the Community Advisory Committee (CAC)

The CAC will meet monthly beginning September 2021 to discuss and support the TEMS site operations, troubleshoot any issues on site or in the neighborhood and provide an opportunity for residents to partner with the site operator and City staff directly. All interested in participating are encouraged to apply. Apply now.


Virtual meeting details and meeting minutes will be posted here as they become available. For questions about the CAC, contact Josh Castle at Josh.Castle@lihi.org


Community Questions and Answers

View the project frequently asked questions or watch the video below to hear more about the project.



Tacoma Emergency Micro-Shelter (TEMS) Site-6th Ave and Orchard St

The City is working with First Christian Church to lease part of their property at 602 North Orchard Street to develop an emergency micro-shelter site in partnership with the Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI). It is anticipated that the site will be ready by the end of 2020 and operational until July 2023.


The site will provide:

  • 40 shelter units, serving up to 60 individuals
  • Facilities for restrooms, shower and laundry
  • Communal kitchen and space for resident meetings
  • Case management services to residents
  • The property will be fenced and 24-hour on-site management and security will be provided by LIHI 

All site residents agree to and follow a code of conduct, which outlines site policies and expectations.


The cost to set-up the site is expected to cost $615,000 and will cost $1.9 million in operations from December 2020 through June 2023. This project was funded using Washington State Department of Commerce Emergency Shelter grant funds.


Community Advisory Committee (CAC)

Community members are invited to join the Community Advisory Committee, which meets monthly to review operations and progress of the site, address questions, concerns and ideas from the public, and provide advisory input. 


Upcoming Meetings:

The CAC meets the second Wednesday of every month at 6 PM. 

For more information or questions about the CAC, please contact Josh Castle at (206) 334-0508.


Past meeting minutes:

TEMS Virtual Community Meeting

We held a community meeting on October 7, 2020 to listen to concerns and provide answers to questions.


To view the frequently asked questions from the meeting, click here


A full list of attendee questions and comments can be viewed here.


Tacoma Emergency Micro-Shelters (TEMS) Site - 60th and McKinley

The City of Tacoma partnered with Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) and the Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI) to relocate and expand the Tacoma Emergency Micro Shelter Site at 802 MLK Jr Way to a THA owned property located at 60th and McKinley through 2021.

The site provides:
  • 50 shelter units, serving up to 65 individuals
  • Basic human amenities including restrooms, garbage services, handwashing stations and drinking water. 
  • The property is fenced and has 24-hour security with on-site management provided by the Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI)

The total cost of the site set-up and operations, including the expanded capacity from 35 to 65 individuals is approximately $1 million for 2020.  Anticipated operations costs for 2021 are approximately $700,000, which will be paid using Federal Emergency Solutions Grant funds.


TEMS Community Advisory Committee (CAC)

Community members are invited to join the Community Advisory Committee, which meets monthly to review operations and progress of the site, address questions, concerns and ideas from the public, and provide advisory input. 


Meetings are held virtually the second Monday of the month from 6 to 7:30 P.M.


Join the meeting here or by phone at (253) 215-8782. The meeting passcode is 825-8159-3484. 


Past meeting minutes:

For questions about the CAC, please contact Josh Castle.


TEMS T-Town Hall Meeting 

The City hosted a virtual town hall on June 4, 2020 to provide residents with more details about the project and hear questions and concerns. View the full town hall below in English or Spanish.



Due to the volume of questions, staff consolidated questions that were similar and provided answers.  To view questions and answers from the Town Hall, please click here.


To see the questions and comments as submitted by meeting attendees, please click here.


More information about LIHI micro-shelter operations can be found in our Frequently Asked Questions


Stability Site - 1421 Puyallup Avenue

The City partners with Catholic Community Services (CCS) to operate a low-barrier emergency shelter at 1421 Puyallup Avenue on City owned property. The Stability Site was established in June 2017 in response to the Public Health State of Emergency on Homelessness and growing unauthorized encampments in the surrounding area.


The site provides:

  • 58 shelter units, serving up to 100 individuals
  • Basic human amenities including restrooms, garbage services, handwashing stations and drinking water
  • Case management services
  • Access to food and other supportive services including temporary employment

In 2017, set-up of the Stability Site cost $900,000 and ongoing operations cost approximately $248,000 per month for the 2017-2018 biennium.


Initially, the site contained individual tents inside of a larger temperature controlled structure with individual pallet shelters located outside the structure. In spring 2020, the City improved the site by replacing all tents with pallet shelters and moving all shelters into the temperature controlled structure. Streamlining operations has also helped reduce expenses.


For 2021-2022, we expect to spend $3.6 million using General Fund and Mental Health Substance Use Disorder Sales Tax funds.


To volunteer or to donate to the Stability Site, contact Megan Edwin, Volunteer Coordinator


Emergency Mitigation Sites

Mitigation sites are City authorized encampments under the Public Health State of Emergency that provide basic hygiene services and safe sleeping accommodations for people currently living outdoors in Tacoma. Supportive services, on-site management and security are provided with a mitigation site model.


Tacoma Public Utility Board has approved the use of their property located at S 82nd and Pacific Avenue for up to two years as a mitigation site. We are currently working with community service providers and those living outdoors to quickly prepare the site for opening as soon as possible. Once details are confirmed and a site operator is selected, community outreach will begin.

Contact Us

Allyson Griffith

NCS Assistant Director


(253) 591-5119


Join our email listserv to receive updates about authorized encampments