Tacoma plans to remove 2 more homeless encampments after increase in emergency calls

TACOMA, Wash. — Two homeless encampments will be removed and cleaned up after the sites had a significant increase in emergency services requests, the city of Tacoma announced Tuesday.

The city plans to remove the encampment at Milwaukee Way beginning Tuesday, June 21, and the encampment at Murray Morgan Bridge beginning July 12. The city’s encampment-removal policy allows a 72-hour posting, but the city has provided more time to allow for increased connection to shelter, the city said in a statement.

The city also removed an encampment on June 1 at 6th and South M street due to public safety concerns, and cleared an encampment on May 27 at East 11th Street and Hylebos Bridge because of environmental impacts and health-and-safety concerns of those living in the encampment.

The Homeless Engagement and Alternatives Liaison Team estimates 20 or more people are at the Murray Morgan Bridge encampment and 10 to 15 people are at the Milwaukee Way encampment.

On the scheduled encampment removal day, a private contractor or city services will clean up the site to meet the city’s code standards for public health and safety. Additionally, the city might do site reclamation to prevent the encampment from returning.

After the encampments are empty, garbage and debris will be removed. City staff will coordinate with Tacoma police and homeless outreach agencies.

The encampment clearings will be the 10th and 11th this year. The city conducted seven removals in 2021.

This story was originally published by The News Tribune.