Pierce County Republicans have a $50 million homelessness plan
The News Tribune, Matt Driscoll, July 22, 2022
It’s a sizable amount of money. There are a number of outstanding questions to be answered. Healthy skepticism, at this juncture, is warranted. Still, let’s not make this more complicated than it is: There’s a lot to like about a proposal championed by Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier and other Republicans in county government to build a 20-acre, $50 million microhome village that would provide residence to roughly 200 to 300 people experiencing chronic homelessness in our community.
As The News Tribune’s Alexis Krell reported this week, the county’s vision — which has largely been articulated by former Republican state senator and senior counsel in the Pierce County Executive’s Office Steve O’Ban — draws its inspiration from a development outside of Austin, Texas. There, the Community First! Village has been in operation since 2015 and houses more than 300 residents in small dwellings similar to mobile homes. Designed as traditional neighborhoods, there are health clinics, addiction-recovery services and employment opportunities, among other resources, on site. Essentially, it’s a new take on what’s often referred to as permanent supportive housing, specifically designed for people who are often hardest to serve and most difficult to get off of the street.