Why are you occupying this building?

We were unhoused, and the city has failed to provide safe or secure housing during the Covid-19 pandemic. With weather getting colder, many individuals are very concerned about hypothermia and exposure. This building can help provide for our basic needs and has been sitting unused since 2009.

Aren’t there shelters you can go to?

No, shelter beds are not always available. The City of Tacoma estimates up to 150 individuals are turned away each night because shelter beds are full, and due to Covid-19, the city is short 400 shelter beds. There are other reasons shelters aren’t a good option for some of us, including curfew hours that don’t match job schedules, the inability to take pets and personal possessions, and the fact that often partners and families must separate in order to get shelter beds.

Isn’t it illegal to be in this building? 

Human life is more important than property, and laws don’t always reflect our broader understanding of right and wrong. It’s right to house humans, and it’s wrong for them to suffer.

How long do you hope to be there?

We hope the City of Tacoma does the right thing, and gives this building and property to us for a Community Land Trust, thus creating permanent extremely low-income housing. We hope to stay safe and out of the harsh weather and pandemic conditions as long as possible.

Doesn’t living in this building create conditions that could spread Covid-19?

Not any more than living in a camp where unhoused individuals gather in small tents for safety and warmth. In this building, we are able to implement a Covid-19 safety plan that takes far greater precautions than we were able to take while living on the street.