Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness

Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness

In March 2022, Pierce County officially adopted a Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness. This plan aims to document the scale of the need and design a system to end homelessness in Pierce County.

We know that increased funding for services and more affordable housing units are needed to drive real sustainable solutions. Pierce County does not have enough housing for all its residents, and much of its housing is not accessible to our lowest earners, but we are on the way to making significant change through historic funding investments in housing and homelessness - $250 million over the next two years.

This plan aims to achieve “functional zero” – a state where any person starting a new episode of homelessness has immediate access to shelter and a permanent housing intervention. The plan outlines the following six goals:

  1. Create a unified homeless response system, including a unified regional approach  with central decision-making authority of funding and services.
  2. Ensure programs are truly effective for all populations.
  3. Prevent homelessness.
  4. Ensure adjacent systems address needs of people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness.
  5. Meet immediate needs of people experiencing homelessness where they are becoming homeless – not requiring them to leave the support networks in their communities to access services.
  6. Expand the permanent housing system to meet the need.

“Targeted universalism” is a methodology underlying much of this work. Targeted universalism sets a single target for everyone – in this case, stable housing. However, different groups need different supports to reach that goal. Programs must be designed to meet the unique need of everyone entering homelessness.

Pierce County Human Services is currently developing the plan implementation framework, but efforts are already underway to improve the homeless response system. 

Latest Updates

Pierce County Human Services is awarding $100,000 to Social Change Partners, LLC to lead the process to develop the regional approach, creating a unified response to homelessness. Next steps for the Unified Regional Approach include research, interviews and stakeholder consultations. A full report and recommendation are due to the County Council before the end of the year, with the expected new approach beginning July 1, 2023.

Implementation of the Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness is progressing. In many ways, the funding plan is the key to ending homelessness in Pierce County. That plan is due to County Council by October 2022. The funding plan will provide pathways to increase funding from the current $40 million dollars a year to the $160 million dollars necessary to end homelessness in Pierce County. That additional $120 million would increase the exits served annually from the current 1,750 households housed each year to 5,800 households housed. Initial $9M of new funding currently rolling out is going towards more shelter beds, navigation services, homeless prevention, employment programs and system improvements. 2022 will see another year where shelter capacity increases by hundreds of beds. Shelter beds provide a safe place for households while they work towards permanent housing. 

A new housing initiative is in the works. The Pierce County Executive, Council, and a number of community leaders are working to establish a planned community of microhomes, work opportunities, and onsite mental health care, patterned after the stunningly successful Community First Village near Austin, Texas, to address chronic homelessness. The following are key milestones in the process of establishing a similar community in Pierce County:

  • April 2022 - The Rescue Mission selected to provide feasibility report and full proposal.
  • June 2022 - Feasibility report completed.
  • October 2022 - Full proposal due to County for Council funding approval.
  • 2023-2024 - Permitting and construction
  • July 2024 - Occupancy of completed units

Read the Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness

Download the PDF Here

  1. Implementation Advisory Board Meetings
  2. Implementation Advisory Board Members

Implementation Advisory Board

The Pierce County Council has directed the Human Services Department to regularly convene a Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness Implementation Advisory Board comprised of members of the Steering Committee and other community representatives. The board meets monthly, on the first Friday of each month, from 1:00 pm. to 3:00 p.m., starting April 1. 

Join the board meetings:

Webinar ID: 910 8468 8732

  • Join by phone: 253-215-8782 or 877-853-5247 (Toll Free)

April 1, 2022 Meeting Packet
April 1, 2022 Meeting Notes

May 6, 2022 Meeting Agenda

May 6, 2022 Meeting Notes

June 3, 2022 Meeting Agenda

June 3, 2022 Meeting Notes

July 1, 2022 Meeting Packet

July 1, 2022 Meeting Notes

August 5, 2022 Meeting Packet

August 5, 2022 Meeting Notes

  1. History of the Plan
  2. Steering Committee Meetings
  3. Shelter Plan Work Group Meetings

About the Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness

The Pierce County Council created the Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness Ad Hoc Committee to facilitate further planning to help end homelessness in Pierce County through Resolution 2021-30s. Two groups were formed from this committee - the Steering Committee to End Homelessness and the Shelter Work group.

The Steering Committee to End Homelessness is made up of members of the community who are developing a comprehensive plan for consideration by the County Council in November 2021. The plan will outline steps, participants, timelines, process and resource needs to  end homelessness in Pierce County. 

The Shelter Work Group is comprised of homeless service providers, advocates, and city representatives from across the community. The ambitious goal set for the work group is to build and implement a plan to end street homelessness by November 1, 2021. This shelter plan will comprise one part of the comprehensive plan created by the steering committee.



Gerrit Nyland
Social Services Supervisor
[email protected]