Reports and Plans


Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities (SPARC)

In December 2016, Tacoma/Pierce County joined seven other cities across the country in a national research project to address the intersection of racism and homelessness, led by the Center for Social Innovation (C4). One manifestation of the nation’s current racial realities is that people of color are disproportionately represented in the homeless population. Black people in particular are more likely to become homeless than people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds. Although Black people comprise 13% of the US population and 26% of those living in poverty, they account for more than 40% of the nation’s overall homeless population. This disparity suggests that poverty rates alone do not explain the over-representation of Black Americans in the homeless population.

The SPARC initiative focuses on using mixed methods research to identify how people are experiencing the accrual of systemic racism and to leverage that knowledge towards systems transformation. From December 5th to December 9th, 2016, SPARC collected qualitative and quantitative data on the racial dimensions of homelessness in Pierce County. Data collected included:

  • HMIS data from fiscal years 2012 to 2016
  • Tacoma Housing Authority Data from 2014, 2015, and 2016
  • An online demographic survey of homeless service providers
  • Qualitative research, including 24 individual interviews with people of color experiencing homelessness and 3 focus groups of providers, stakeholders, and consumers

Pierce County SPARC Report (February 2018)
National Phase I SPARC Report (March 2018)

Homeless Charrette, June 21-22, 2016

Pierce County sponsored a two-day community conversation to address chronic and unsheltered homelessness in Pierce County. Learn more about the Charrette:


Pierce County Five-Year Plan to Address Homelessness

Pierce County Human Services, in collaboration with the Tacoma-Pierce County Continuum of Care and local jurisdictions developed and implemented the Pierce County Five-Year Plan to Address Homelessness in 2020. The plan contains the goals and priorities of the County to address homelessness with a regional approach to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring. Click here to read the Pierce County Five-Year Plan to Address Homelessness.

Plan to End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness (October 2013)

The Tacoma/Lakewood/Pierce County Continuum of Care incorporated the Plan to End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness into the Plan to End Homelessness in 2013, adding important goals towards creating a continuum of services to make youth homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring in Pierce County. Click here to read the Plan to End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness

Ending Veteran Homelessness

The Ending Veteran Homelessness Exploratory Task Force is aiding Pierce County in the evaluation of County programs and policies related to veteran homelessness. Click here to read the Ending Veteran Homelessness Report.