• Puyallup makes 'Hall of Shame' list for treatment of homeless


    Puyallup has made a new list: A "Hall of Shame" for the way the city has addressed its homeless situation.

    The designation comes from a national homeless advocacy group called the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, a Washington DC-based group that fights for the rights of homeless people.

    Although the city of Puyallup has opened the New Hope Resource Center, the group says that's not enough.

    What landed Puyallup on the list, according to the advocacy group, is "their aggressive enforcement of criminalization laws and history of evicting homeless encampments."

    KIRO 7 has reported on some of the cleanups along the Puyallup River.

    The city has gotten an earful from residents and businesses about the problem, including complaints of people stealing, doing drugs and even having sex in public.

    In criticizing Puyallup's approach, the National Law Center said the city has enacted laws that make it illegal to camp, panhandle and loiter in public parks after they close, even though there isn't a year-round homeless shelter in the city.

    Puyallup Mayor John Hopkins told the News Tribune he takes offense to his city being named on the Hall of Shame list.

    He said he and the council have studied the homeless problem extensively and they've spent a lot of money on programs that protect the rights of the homeless, but also address complaints of citizens.

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