Safe shelter for all unhoused in Tacoma-Pierce Co who want it now!
Regarding our unhoused citizens in Tacoma and Pierce County, it seems obvious to us that our first priority would best involve getting those who wish safely off of our streets now. It does not make any sense to us either practically or morally to leave them on the streets year after year while we work on our long-term “permanent solution” plans to “end homelessness”—which of course may never happen. Making very expensive long-term, grand plans a priority over providing people with safe places to sleep, now, makes about as much sense as it would for us to tell our injured or sick people, “Forget Emergency Medical Services. We won’t help you until after we have transported you to our multi-million dollar trauma center (which, by the way, it will take a few years, perhaps decades, for us to build).
This perverse values reversal—not any lack of ability to get the homeless who wish off of our streets!—makes no sense to us. Will you please explain the reasoning behind what seems to us an obviously morally and practically reversed set of priorities with its blatant failure appropriately to perform needed triage? At a cost of about $50,000 per year per 100 people, with simple, organized, self-managed small shelter communities, including tent cities among other possibilities which could also include using unused or abandoned buildings, we could get all of our homeless who wish safely off of our streets within a few weeks, if we decided to. We can obviously do this at a tiny fraction of the cost of the longer-term “solutions” while we pursue those very slow, very expensive options. Instead, we prefer to leave them there, miserable and dying. Why? What kind of moral, public health, or other practical sense does this make? Sorry; we simply do not get it. Will you please provide us with a thought-filled explanation for this massive failure appropriately to prioritize expenditures of limited city, county, and/or state resources, including money and effort?