The Tacoma City Council declared a state of public health emergency Tuesday night relating to homeless camp conditions.
The state of emergency ordinance will let Tacoma suspend some regulations in order to implement the Emergency Temporary Aid and Shelter Program Plan.
The plan aims to mitigate the impacts on homelessness on Tacoma residents, connect the homeless with social and health services, and establish more short-term transitional housing options.
Tacoma allocated $9 million towards homelessness services this fiscal year, a 48 percent increase over last year.
The city council said the conditions at Tacoma’s more than 50 homeless encampments “pose safety and health concerns” for campers, including exposure to human waste, disease, violence, and other public health concerns.
The ordinance comes less than a month after Tacoma and state transportation officials swept the “Tacoma Jungle,” city’s largest encampment under the Interstate 5/Interstate 705 corridor.
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