Tacoma non-profit continues focus on homeless families

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Network Tacoma held its 10th annual "No Place Like Home" fundraising auction Saturday and celebrated raising $500,000 over the past decade that has helped hundreds of Tacoma homeless families since 2000. 

The non-profit said despite the rough economy and financial uncertainty, Tacoma-area residents continue to give.

“The recent cutbacks in the Puget Sound area have been overshadowed by the changes in service protocols called centralized screening and tailored services.  These two changes from Housing and Urban Development and funders have been a part of the goal of eradicating homelessness, something I see as just this side of impossible,” said Bob Weyrick, Network Tacoma’s founder and president.

Weyrick said that the supporters who attend the auctions are the real heroes.  They see the need in their community and are doing something about it.  

He added, “Without that support, we can’t be out there helping.” 

He has worked with homeless in Seattle and Tacoma for more than 20 years and said one of the biggest changes has been the new face of homelessness.  There are still those dealing with mental illness and drug and alcohol dependencies, but the increase in women and children is most shocking. 

And the numbers illustrate that need. One in six Washington children lives in poverty – a 30 percent increase since the recession began. In Tacoma, there are 1,193 homeless children in the K-12 system. 

With more cuts looming for social services because of a $1.3 billion budget shortfall in Washington state, organizations like Tacoma Network are becoming increasingly important, and in many cases, families' last hope.

For more information on Network Tacoma, click here:  http://www.networktacoma.org/

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