We know that it seems like we’ve been at this forever without a guest staying for longer than one night. However, we think that our hard work – with your support – will result in guests within a few weeks. Our volunteers have not flagged as we continue to keep the grounds tidy, ready for guests. During this long process we have:
- Forged cordial relationships with our neighbors;
- Learned what it is like to sleep in our cars in a parking lot (if only for one or two nights);
- Met some of those who are unhoused in our neighborhood;
- Developed greater understanding about the challenges those who are unhoused in Tacoma/Pierce County meet every day;
- Learned more about porta-potties and small hand washing stations;
- Learned more about the people and organizations committed to finding solutions that will provide more stability for those who are housing and food insecure. Take a look at The Pierce County Coalition to End Homelessness webpage to review the programs, resources, committees and advocates who are trying to make a difference for the unsheltered. Find a way to get involved if you are so moved.
- Learned the importance of caring for our property: when a space looks abandoned, someone will claim it;
- Learned that a small group of unsheltered people will migrate up a street or throughout an area when they get “moved along.” A sidewalk may be clear one day and host shopping cart “lodging” the next.
Our challenge to get guests on site – which we know will add stability and safety for our guests, as well as for our property – is a result of a variety of factors, some within our control and some not. We have tweaked those factors within our control and are hopeful that this will facilitate guests in our parking lot. We know the need for sanitation and safety is significant and we continue to work toward that end.
In addition to Safe Parking, the TUUC Subcommittee on Housing Insecurity is considering other ways to support those who are unhoused. We will continue to update you as we learn more. Meanwhile, please email us at TUUCHousingSubComm@gmail.com with questions, ideas, and your interest in volunteering.