Arlington Drive Youth Campus
A Safe and Supportive Home
Tacoma Housing Authority designed the Arlington Apartments for young adults, 18 to 24 years old, who are experiencing homelessness, transitioning from foster care or are on the threshold of homelessness. The Arlington Apartments were completed in 2020 and leasing began in Q4 of that y ear. The campus is close to the Eastside Community Center, public transportation, a health clinic, and schools.
Young adults participated in the design of the Arlington Apartments, and as a result, there will be on-site laundry, a large community room with a demonstration kitchen, small meeting spaces, lots of windows and secure entry. The grounds include areas for gardening, outdoor patio and a sports court. The YMCA of Greater Seattle will provide case management services, mental health support, substance use disorder counseling, and life skills training.
There are at least 90 homeless unaccompanied youth with families and young adults on any given night in Pierce County. In 2016, at least 1,070 youth and young adults in Pierce County were homeless.
Many of these young people are fleeing abuse at home and judge that the streets are safer. On their own, they face high risks of further abuse, violence, sex trafficking, addiction, and greatly diminished prospects for an education, a livelihood, a family and a reasonable life.
THA’s goal is to provide homeless youth and young adults with a second chance at a reasonable adolescence, a second chance at a reasonable adulthood and a second chance at a life without exploitation, impoverishment and fear. Perhaps most importantly, this campus will offer them what they do not get or feel from too many other places – a warm and safe welcome.
THA owns 3.5 acres called Arlington Drive near its community of New Salishan. With partners, THA set out to develop a Youth Campus on that property with the following features:
- 12-bed Crisis Residential Center (CRC) for homeless youth without families, age 12 to 17 years. Community Youth Services (CYS) will manage this Center. It has been doing this work for over 40 years in Thurston County. For the last two years, it has been managing a 6-bed CRC in a THA single family home in Tacoma. CYS is one of the nation’s leading practitioners in this work. It uses evidenced-based and best practices that show a 95% rate of successfully discharging these youth, after an average 15 day stay, to safe and stable housing. Sometimes CYS returns the youth to family. Sometimes CYS fashions a new family with relatives or other caring adults. Sometimes the youth go to foster care, or to independent living. At this rate of success, the Arlington Drive CRC will serve, and save, 500 youth a year.
- 58 rental apartments for homeless young adults, age 18 to 24 years.
- Facilities for supportive services.
- Social enterprises for job training.
This campus is in walking distance of the following complimentary facilities:
- Tanbara Regional Primary Health Care Clinic
- Lister Elementary School and First Creek Middle School
- East Side Community Center
- Bates Technical College Salishan Campus (planned)
- Salishan Child Care Center (planned)