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On any given day, you can go to downtown Tacoma and see the hundreds of homeless that populate

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The Homeless in Tacoma, a Resource Research Paper Gregory McCool The University of Phoenix, Tacoma Washington Campus Professor Phyllis Souza BSHS 341 June 9, 2004 Introduction On any given day, you can go to downtown Tacoma and see the hundreds of homeless that populate the city. Near the County City Building on Tacoma Avenue, there are always some homeless looking to buy or sell some drugs. There's the stereotypical parking lot surrounded by a chain link fence where dozens of transients wait in hopes to get work at Labor Ready. It is common to see the Tacoma City library packed with the homeless trying to get out of the heat or the cold. At every corner there seems that there is a beggar asking people for money as they pass by. For numerous reasons, there are hundreds of homeless in Tacoma and they are not going away. On top of the cities homeless problem there are thousands of poor people in Pierce County that spend over half of their incomes on housing, leaving them on the verge of homelessness. A missed paycheck, a health care crisis, or an unpaid bill can easily push these poor families over the edge into homelessness. (UWPC 2004) Study of the homeless population Homelessness is caused by a variety of problems. The main cause is unaffordable housing for the poor. ...read more.


I have found that the United Way of Pierce County is by far one of the most helpful agency available to the homeless. The United Way assists people in our community by connecting them with the human services they need through the largest free information and referral network in Pierce County. (UWPC 2004) I believe that it would be extremely effective if Pierce County had a computerized system for delivering services and benefits to the homeless. If you could coordinate the benefits, the homeless receive through all of the agencies it would be possible to provide benefits and opportunities based more on need. I strongly believe that this should be done on an ethical manner. You must pay attention to properly documenting and safeguarding personal information so that there is no invasion of privacy. Agencies that Provide the Basics, Food, Shelter and Health Care During my observation of the homeless population where I am volunteering for my Field experience, the needs of the homeless I interacted with were of an immediate nature. I observed the immediate needs of the homeless came before employment and affordable housing. These immediate needs are Emergency Shelter, Health and Medical care, nutritious hot meals and food assistance. The three agencies that I will be providing an overview of all serve the Tacoma, Pierce County area and provide their resources free of charge to the homeless population. ...read more.


370-7019 405 Broadway Thursday: Trinity Neighborhood Clinic (253) 272-8819 1619 6th Avenue Hours: 5-7pm Medical/Dental Van: For mobile medical/dental van appointments call Vontel Moore, Homeless Health Care outreach (253) 284-9016 (UWPC 2004) In Conclusion There are hundreds of homeless in Tacoma and the numbers are growing every year. Most people that I have spoken to consider the homeless to be to be a burden on society and a drain on the communities' limited resources. After having spent time getting to know the homeless, see their faces, and know their stories, I no longer consider them strangers. They are just someone who is not as fortunate as I am. I am glad that there are others out there who care and resources available to ease their suffering. While I will not contribute directly to a beggar on the street, I will continue to contribute to the United Way through my employer as it goes to an excellent cause. Remember, a missed paycheck, a health care crisis, or an unpaid bill can easily push anyone over the edge into homelessness. Resources Pierce County Department of Community Services. (2003/2004) Resource Guide [Booklet] Tacoma Rescue Mission (TRM), (n.d.) Retrieved May 16, 2004, from www.trm.org Martin Luther King Housing Development Association (mlkhda), (2004) Retrieved May 16, 2004, from www.mlkhda.org United Way of Pierce County(UWPC), (2004) Retrieved May 20, 2004, from www.uwpc.org Grassroots.org a 501c3 project (Homeless), (2004) Retrieved May 20, 2004, from www.homeless.org ?? ?? ?? ?? Homeless Resource Research 1 ...read more.

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