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. We’ve already begun efforts to improve the homeless response system, including creating over 300 new shelter beds, funding additional case management services and developing a bus pass pilot program to begin later this year.

Latest Updates

Affordable Housing

Pierce County and the Pierce County Community Development Corporation have made roughly $17M available to support the development and preservation of affordable housing for low, very low, and extremely low-income residents. We are now reviewing 17 applications totaling nearly $29M.

Unified Regional Approach Governance/Partnership

The County recently released a Request for Proposals (RFP) looking to identify a consultant to develop a plan for the Unified Regional Approach governance/partnership infrastructure. Submissions are due June 24, 2022. 

Critical Time Intervention (CTI)

Navigating the homeless system can often be difficult. A pilot navigation case management program, based on the Critical Time Intervention (CTI) model is key to assisting clients in getting documentation, entering shelter, and accessing permanent housing programs through Coordinated Entry. This new funding was awarded to Inside Passages Pierce County and the REACH center.

Technical Support

To support organizations – especially those by and for black, indigenous and people of color, the County released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to provide technical support, which recently closed on June 10. We are now reviewing applications.

Bus Passes

The Pilot Transportation Project has officially launched and 500 one-year bus passes are in the hands of people experiencing homelessness. This pilot will provide unlimited access to Pierce Transit bus routes while participants are enrolled in one of the following six programs assisting people experiencing homelessness:

  • Tacoma Rescue Mission, Adams Street Shelter
  • New Phoebe House, Transitional Housing
  • Altheimer Memorial Church, Give me a Chance family shelter,
  • Catholic Community Services, Rapid Rehousing Program
  • Exodus Housing, Rapid Rehousing Program
  • Inside Passages Pierce County, Critical Time Intervention Case Management.


Next Steps

Still on the short list of immediate action is the establishment of a shelter to provide temporary housing and wraparound services to transition people into permanent housing. Its location is not yet determined, but it will be in an underserved unincorporated area. The Fife Shelter RFP is still underdevelopment and the TRM shelter expansion contract is on hold until additional revenue sources are identified.

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

June 3, 2022 Meeting Recording

July 1, 2022 Meeting Packet

  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]