Northeast Tacoma residents raise concerns about plans for new temporary homeless shelter

Thursday, Tacoma city leaders worked to answer hundreds of questions during a ZOOM meeting focused on a new temporary homeless shelter.

The city is planning to open the doors of the Center at Norpoint, located in the northeast part of the city, to operate as a temporary homeless shelter.

There is a similar operation happening in the east side of the city at the Eastside Community Center. This location originally opened in October as a warming shelter during very cold days, but since has changed into a 24/7 operation.

The shelter at the Center at Norpoint would operate similarly, however it is causing controversy in the community.

"We’re directly in the center of a neighborhood, you know. There is nothing else around, just neighbors. And to bring them into an area like this just doesn’t make sense," said Joe Maclaughlin. 

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Maclaughlin lives near the community center. He says he has safety concerns regarding the shelter and a lot of questions for the city.

During a ZOOM call Thursday night, city leaders spoke to hundreds of community members and worked to answer hundreds of their questions regarding the shelter.

City leaders say the new shelter will also be 24/7 like the Eastside Community Center location. However, it is a temporary warming shelter and will only operate until the end of February.

The shelter will focus its help on women and couples, who are over 18-years-old.

It will have capacity for about two dozen people and offer services to help folks get back on their feet. It will also require reservations.

The goal is to open the new shelter at the Center at Norpoint within the next 7-10 days.