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Tacoma City Council approves nearly $400K micro-shelter village during intense meeting

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TACOMA, Wash. -- The Tacoma City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to invest close to $400,000 in the homelessness crisis.

The council's plan is to build temporary shelter in the 800 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way. This is in response to a new tent ban in the city that takes effect Dec. 1.

People got angry at the council during Tuesday's meeting, not because they disapprove of the plan but because they think the council isn't doing enough.  Many have issues with the tent ban, and they want more services for people experiencing homelessness.

After several warnings from the council asking people to stop clapping after others spoke, the council ended public input with a few people still signed up to speak.

Council says they are doing what they can to address this issue.

"We're trying; trying to make a difference, make an impact," said council member Keith Blocker.

The micro-shelter lot would include 22 units, offering shelter to about 35 people. The area would include amenities like portable toilets, garbage services, hand-washing stations and drinking water. The property would be fenced and have 24-hour security, with on-site management.

Council says the micro-shelter community is a temporary fix. It will operate for about 8 months and the Low Income Housing Institute, out of Seattle, will manage the units.

The city of Tacoma is also working with other organizations and faith-based groups to find more permanent housing options.

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