• City of Tacoma QA
  • City of Tacoma Data




Inclement Weather Resources

Warming Centers Help Meet Increased Community Need for  Winter Shelter

In response to the evolving community needs brought on by the continuing pandemic, the City of Tacoma, Metro Parks and community service providers are activating temporary warming centers this winter during inclement weather season.

 

The Warming Centers are 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. As a result, contracts needed to establish the Warming Centers do not require City Council approval at this time.

 

Warming Center Operations

All temporary Warming Centers are operated and managed 24-hours daily, seven days per week. Participants are provided sleeping mats, meals, showers, and connections to supportive services. Participants are required to wear masks, maintain social distancing and follow all other required safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

Location Access Service Details Operating Dates 

Eastside Community Center

1721 E 56th St

Serves up to 55

Adult men and women

Walk-in day services are available

Contact (253) 392-4014

Mid-November - February 28, 2021

Center at Norpoint

4818 Nassau Ave NE

Serves up to 25

Adult women and couples

Reservation only, no walk-in service available

Contact (253) 325-2015

January 26 - February 28, 2021

Salvation Army

1110 S Puget Sound Ave

Serves up to 35

Adult single men

Walk-in day services are available

Contact (253) 719-2219

 January 28 - March 31, 2021

 

Community Engagement Details

 The City hosted a Town Hall meeting on January 14, 2021 to hear community feedback on the Warming Center at Norpoint. View the video recordingpresentation slides and community questions and answers (updated 1/15/21)

 

Join us for a Town Hall Meeting about the Warming Center at Salvation Army.

Wednesday, January 27

6 p.m.

Click here to join

Or dial:

(253) 215-8782

Webinar ID: 828 1315 4893

Passcode: 841039

 

Contact Us 

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

   

Frequently Asked Questions

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.