Pierce County budget includes $2.5M in federal funds for a ‘micro-home village’
(The Center Square) – Pierce County’s newly adopted 2024-2025 biennial budget includes $2.5 million to build a stability site for homeless people.
The homeless stability site will provide basic hygiene services and safe sleeping accommodations to occupants. The funding will come from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
The site is similar to tiny house villages and operates on a 24-hour, seven days a week basis. Services include on-site management, security, access to toilets, showers, potable water, garbage collection and a food prep area.
A site has not been identified yet for the micro home village, but according to Pierce County Council documents, the site “must be located outside of the City of Tacoma.”
The Pierce County Human Services Department will consult with facilities management to identify potential sites. By June 1, 2024, the department will have to report to the Pierce County Council on the progress for creating the site.
Overall, the adopted Pierce County budget dedicates $6.5 million to the Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness.
The 2023 Point-In-Time count revealed 2,148 people living on Pierce County streets on a single night. That count also found a total of 6,500 connected to the county’s homeless response crisis system.
The Center Square previously reported on the gaps in shelter and supportive services to homeless people outside of Tacoma as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The gap in homeless services has caused nonprofit organizations providing shelter and services to homeless people to reach maximum capacity.
Tacoma Rescue Mission Executive Director Duke Paulson previously said the organization’s shelters have been at full-capacity since the weather cooled in September, with waitlists for available shelter beds ranging from 20 to 30.
The 2024-2025 budget also allocates $520,000 to support four safe parking sites and an additional safe parking site dedicated to homeless people living in their vehicles.
The county council approved the budget on Nov. 21. It now heads to Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier for his signature into law, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2024.
Missing Persons in Washington State
Gallery Credit: Brian Stephenson