Can six shelter beds make a difference for Pierce County’s homeless youth?
In two years, Tacoma should have a 12-bed crisis residential center — known as a CRC in the social services business — for youths ages 12 to 17. It will be a place where youths experiencing homelessness can stay for up to 15 days, while staff members meet their immediate needs and address their long-term housing plan.
The facility, to be built on 3.5-acres of land that Tacoma Housing Authority owns near its Salishan development, will be crucial for Tacoma and Pierce County’s efforts to reduce homelessness, and specifically youth homelessness.
But for the alarming number of youths currently experiencing homelessness in Pierce County – like, right now – two years is a long time. The 2016 Point in Time Count found 65 sheltered and 25 unsheltered homeless youths in Pierce County, and these are just the kids who were counted.