Status of Tent City Tacoma

Currently, Tent City Tacoma (TCT) does not exist. The organizing group of TCT has not met since February of 2016. Though the project is inactive, it had an effect on the City of Tacoma’s discussion of homelessness.

Activists in Occupy Tacoma started the TCT organizing group in June of 2013. This group ceased meeting about 3 years later in February of 2016 owing to irreconcilable differences and burnout among the organizers.

Perhaps the TCT will start up again. TCT represented a dream that continues to this day. TCT efforts sparked conversations among City officials, in the press, and community groups.

This site contains a wealth of material about TCT and homelessness in Tacoma. It is a valuable resource for those interested in addressing this vexing problem. In the future, there will be new articles and postings about homelessness. If you are interested, you can follow up by writing us at We will check this email account about once a week, so responses may be somewhat delayed from the time you send us email.


A Few Interesting Excerpts

Below are some excerpts of items, of both current and historical interest.

  • There is an informational video presentation by Bud Nye
  • A modern fairy tale about Tacoma homelessness
  • And a few other things from when TCT was organizing with spirit and energy.

Check it out.

Talk of Tent City Is Back

By Kathleen Merryman
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Reprinted from The Tacoma Weekly

Tacomans Are Once Again Discussing a Tent City

We had this conversation a decade ago, when street activist Hank Montgomery confronted the needs of homeless people – and all the people who were trying in good faith to meet those needs. It was a caustic experience, though. On the bright side, Montgomery did end up with housing. He is doing well, and is happily married.

In the decade since, the people who dedicate their lives to trying to end homelessness have made progress. They have adopted strategies that work for families, teens, veterans, people with disabilities, addicts and those with mental illness.

A Tent City in Tacoma, Part 1

This is Part 1 of a 2-part series. Click here to see Part 2

Have you ever pondered on the homeless and how they fit in the society we have now? The plain answer is that they do not fit in. Homeless people are forced to live on the fringes of society, forced to live under oppressive systems without any say in how they are run. Their critics scream at them to get a job, yet homeless agencies forbid them the tools to do so.

Established social service agencies expect no protest or complaint when they tell their clients they cannot take their personal belongings with them into the shelters. The shelters expect them to adhere to a meal schedule that forbids the possibility of a job search. The shelters expect them to come at specific times, or they don’t get a bed. This makes taking night jobs impossible. In short, the homeless are denied the rights that Occupys all over the country have been fighting for.

A Tent City in Tacoma, Part 2

This is the second in a series of articles on a tent city for Tacoma. The first can be found by clicking here. Based on my past experiences in tent cities, a Tacoma Tent City could well be organized and governed as follows:

Camp Organization

  1. The responsibility of electing leadership and establishing permanent rules within the camp shall fall upon the residents of the camp at the time by a consensus vote (consensus as determined by the camp as a whole).
  2. The responsibility of enforcing rules, resolving disputes, establishing temporary rules, and coordinating ongoing and day-to-day operations of the camp shall fall upon an executive committee (EC), comprised of five primary members and two alternates. These executive committee members shall be elected once a month and shall not serve a term of more than two consecutive months.

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


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.