Tent City Tacoma Kick-Off: First Public Informational Meeting

Thanks to Vince Hart for writing the original draft that you’re now reading, and thanks to Patricia for proofreading the leaflet based on Vince’s draft.—editor

——CHANGING THE WORLD: STARTING LOCAL——

For several months, Occupy Tacoma (OT) activists and various homeless advocates have been gathering data, seeking out resources, identifying potential allies, and assembling relevant legal documents—all for the sake of launching a vital project to meet the needs of many local homeless people.

Now, a FIRST PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING has been scheduled for Monday evening, June 10, at the First United Methodist Church (clickable link), 621 Tacoma Avenue South, to kick off the Tent City Tacoma project.

  • Please Come: Church leaders, civil organizations, public health and law enforcement representatives, staff from city departments, and ALL OTHER INTERESTED PERSONS are invited to attend.
  • Meeting Program:
    • Refreshments: The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments.
    • Presentation: An OT member, formerly a homeless person himself, will share a PowerPoint presentation describing how he and other homeless advocates and activists have participated in the organization and running of successful Tent Cities.

ORGANIZING & LEARNING: OT representatives have been meeting monthly with the other members of the Tacoma-Pierce County Coalition to End Homelessness. (TPCCEH). They made extensive efforts to learn how other Tent City programs have developed and managed to work out in places like Seattle and King County. They brought forward valuable information about practical, actual on-the-ground functioning of “Tent City” refuges in other metropolitan areas such as ours.

ACTIVIST RESIDENTS: A beginning core of local prospective residents has already been identified. Moreover, tent city residents from surrounding areas such as King County and elsewhere have expressed a desire possibly to relocate here and contribute to the effort. They bring a wealth of organizational experience with such needs as internal management, security, sanitation, food, and community outreach.

LOCATION: Our next critical step is in finding a suitable location for “putting stakes in the ground.” As in the Seattle area, church-owned sites are the preferred locations for a tent city, since religious organizations have the legal right to use their own property for such service to the community. This is key to getting a tent city established.

NEEDED RESOURCES: In addition to a place to set up the facility, there is need for funds to provide some of the essential services, to meet sanitation requirements, provide a place to cook, and so forth. Therefore, in order for Tent City Tacoma to exist and thrive, many supportive persons and organizations must be enlisted. For that reason, the project is ready to GO PUBLIC after a lengthy period of preparation.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  1. Come to the meeting and bring others with you. Click here to download a leaflet that you can print out for distributing at work, your place of worship, and around the neighborhood.
  2. Talk up TCT. Explain to family and friends why you support it and why they should too.
  3. Go to the Tent City Tacoma Facebook page and support it.
  4. Let your elected representatives, your clergy people, and your city representatives know you support facilitating getting a TCT
  5. Talk to your faith community if you have one, about sponsoring a TCT tent city on their property.
  6. Be ready to volunteer, contribute food, money, or help with other resources.
  7. Get on the mailing list and keep current with Tacoma Tent City.

PLEASE COME AND BRING FRIENDS WHO SHARE YOUR INTEREST.

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