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homelessness | neighborhood news

Gentrification Strikes Again

Today as I rode my bicycle thought the Lents neighborhood (an urban renewal neighborhood) I saw the usual sights. Neighbors helping each other clear storm drains, a mass movement of cars coming and going from I-205, and quite a few fellow cyclists. But at approximately 2:45 I rolled past SE 82nd and Foster rd. and saw three patrol cars surrounding the local squat.

Today something was different. As the Portland Development Commission or PDC continues their quest for urban renewal they have managed to attract new business to the area. These businesses are looking to benefit from the new light rail train that will run down I-205, the new farmers market, and of course the increased property value a lifeless commercial look brings. One of these interested businesses is Big 5 Sporting Goods. This week is Big 5's Grand Opening.

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Tacoma's Step Toward Working WITH the Homeless

I met a man today who taught me about a new program in our city. Tonight I know he is not out sleeping in the cold and rain. Tonight I know he has a place to call home. At home I looked for the program on the internet and was glad to learn about the Housing First Encampment Elimination Program. I didn't know it existed.

In September of this year, 1.3 million dollars was dedicated for the first year of the new project which involves both the City of Tacoma and social services. The city studied the problems associated with the homeless and determined that roughly 300 people lived in about 14 encampments. Members of Comprehensive Mental Health and Greater Lakes Mental Health's PATH outreach team try to encourage living in one of the encampments to accept a housing unit. These must have been the ones who approached the man I met on the bus.

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