$1M in funding approved to build tiny house village in Pierce County

March 6, 2024. Article from KOMO News.

SPANAWAY, Wash. — The Tacoma Rescue Mission (TRM) received another piece it needs to complete a puzzle to build a new tiny house village in Spanaway.

That piece came from the city of Lakewood when it approved $1 million in available American Rescue Plan money, which will help build the first units of the Community First Village.

Duke Paulson, executive director of TRM, in talking with KOMO News about the project said he prefers to call the homes cottages because they are bigger than what’s termed a tiny house.

He said the cottages in this project will be up to 400 square feet and contain a bedroom, bathroom, and living space with a kitchenette.

Read the full article here: KOMO NEWS.

Video from KOMO News

Lakewood City Council Allocates $1 Million to Support Tacoma Rescue Mission’s Homeless Village Initiative

March 6, 2024. Article from Tacoma News Tribune.

The Lakewood City Council took a significant step forward in addressing chronic homelessness by approving a $1 million allocation from federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to the Tacoma Rescue Mission.

This funding is earmarked for the construction of the first 50 units of the Pierce County Village project, a planned 285-unit micro-home village designed to provide affordable housing and supportive services to those in need. With a condition that 20% of the units be reserved for homeless veterans, the initiative reflects a focused effort to support those who have served the country.

Read the full article here: BNN Breaking.

Image from BNN Breaking

This city just committed $1 million to controversial Spanaway homeless village project

March 6, 2024. Article from Tacoma News Tribune.

The city of Lakewood has approved a $1 million allocation to the Tacoma Rescue Mission in support of a planned 285-unit micro-home village for people experiencing chronic homelessness.

The Lakewood City Council on Monday passed a motion to use $1 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act funding for the construction of the first 50 units in the first phase of the Pierce County Village project, provided that the conditional-use permit for the project is approved and 20% of the units are set aside for homeless veterans.

The decision was unanimous. Amendments proposed by council member J. Trestin Lauricella to release the $1 million in increments over time once total funding for the project had been secured failed.

Read the full article here: Tacoma News Tribune.

image from Tacoma News Tribune

City of Tacoma Announces Expansion of Shelter Capacity for Winter Season

December 11, 2023. Article from South Sound Magazine.

The City of Tacoma has announced the expansion of shelter capacity for acute inclement weather events.

Through the end of March, the Tacoma Rescue Mission, who is operating a shelter at Holy Rosary Church, will provide 50 beds for adults experiencing homelessness. Anyone wishing to access these beds can go to the main Rescue Mission campus located at 425 South Tacoma Way, a release said.

During the winter weather season, the city of Tacoma’s HEAL team is also equipped with blankets, gloves, socks, hats, and hand warmers for those living outside while HEAL team members work to connect them to shelter. The HEAL team also carries water and pet food for distribution all year, the release noted.

Read the full article here: South Sound Magazine

Pierce County Executive vetoes council decision on controversial homeless village zoning

August 9, 2023. Article from The New Tribune.

In another twist of controversy, Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier on Wednesday vetoed the County Council’s July decision to repeal several zoning ordinances that authorized a 285-unit micro-home village for people experiencing chronic homelessness to be built near Spanaway.

The council voted unanimously, with six members in favor, on July 25 to repeal the ordinances in light of the Growth Management Hearings Board scheduling to make a decision in December on two petitions that argue the county should not have approved those zoning ordinances due to density and environmental concerns.

Read the full article here: The News Tribune

A concept site plan of the proposed 285-unit micro-home village run by Tacoma Rescue Mission near Spanaway.

City’s homeless plan appears to be working

August 1, 2023. Article from Tacoma Weekly.

Over the past months, there has been a noticeable decline in the large homeless encampments that used to sprawl in numerous parts of Tacoma. One of the most obvious was the clearing of the longtime encampment up from the Tacoma Rescue Mission on South Tacoma Way that elicited constant calls to the city from residents wanting it gone.

Often attracting up to 50 or more people, these types of camps also posed a worrisome threat of danger to those who lived there – to their mental and physical health and to their very lives.

Read the full article here: Tacoma Weekly

Image from Tacoma Weekly.

Pierce County neighbors divided over planned homeless micro-village

July 14, 2023. Article by Nikki Torres, Fox 13 News.

No matter the outcome of the political back-and-forth, the 285-unit micro-village planned for the 80-plus acre site near Spanaway will still get built.

Opponents of the decision to build there say high-intensity builds, like a micro-village, shouldn’t be going into so-called residential resource zones, because they take a large toll on the environment.

The micro-village was green-lit by the county council this spring, but it wasn’t a unanimous decision. Councilor Denson voted against it along with Councilor Amy Cruver. Now, both councilors are trying to repeal that vote from March.

Denson clarified she is not against micro-villages or finding solutions to the homeless crisis. She said, correcting the past vote only to look out for future environmental needs of the community. However, staff at the Tacoma Rescue Mission, which is managing the micro-village – aren’t so sure.

Read the full article here: Fox 13 News

Image from Video by Nikki Torres, Fox 13 News

More controversy over big Pierce County homeless village as zoning decision challenged

July 14, 2023. Article by Becca Most, The News Tribune.

The Pierce County Council is considering repealing two zoning ordinances that paved the way for a 285-unit micro-home village for people experiencing chronic homelessness to be built on a 86-acre site near Spanaway.

Since the petitions were filed, Futurewise and Spanaway Concerned Citizens’ cases have been consolidated into one before the Growth Management Board.

The land in question was originally zoned as “residential resource,” a classification that allows for low-density, single-family homes in open or environmentally sensitive areas.

Duke Paulson, the executive director of Tacoma Rescue Mission, said he was surprised the council is considering repealing the ordinances when Tacoma Rescue Mission has already submitted its permits to build.

Read the full article here: The News Tribune

An artist’s rendition of the Shared Community Housing Village proposed west of Spanaway. Tacoma Rescue Mission

How did a cooling housing market prompt ‘doomsday’ fears for Pierce County’s homeless?

June 18, 2023. Article by Shea Johnson, The News Tribune.

The Homeless Housing Program’s recent downturn in funding can be traced to what is often its largest revenue source: Document recording fees (DRF). They’re charged by local and state agencies during real estate transactions such as purchasing or refinancing a home, according to county Human Services spokesperson Kari Moore, who called the fees “the backbone funding of the homeless crisis response system across the state.”

The implications had been dire: Such a steep financial reduction could have meant expulsions from shelters in the county, including its own, for 500 men, women and children by the end of June, according to the rescue mission, which had held conversations about potentially laying off 50 staff members. With the additional state funds, the rescue mission’s projections are less extreme, although still serious, while it grapples with an estimated budget shortfall of more than a half-million dollars . . .

Read the full article here: The News Tribune

Photo by Cheyenne Boone, Tacoma News Tribune

Funding crisis averted for Pierce County homeless service providers

June 9, 2023. Article by Joel Moreno, The News Tribune.

Homeless service providers bracing for steep funding cuts got a last-minute rescue in Pierce County on Friday. However, although they say the immediate crisis has been averted, the problem that led up to the financial shortfalls still remains.

Earlier this week, homeless people who come for meals and services at the Tacoma Rescue Mission were nearly at risk of losing this vital resource after Pierce County notified the nonprofit of a steep reduction in grant funding . . .

Read the full article here: The News Tribune

Tacoma council passes $4 billion budget. How much is for police, homeless and more?

November 26, 2022. Article by Liz Moomey, The News Tribune.

In homeless services, the budget is $34 million to go toward adding two employees to the Homeless Engagement and Alternatives Liaison Team, maintaining and expanding emergency and temporary shelter capacity and expanding Tacoma Rescue Mission men’s shelter project and TRM’s shelter project operating costs. The city plans to stand up 150 shelter beds and add 120 affordable housing units in the next two years.

See full article here: The News Tribune

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Homeless [mitigation site] will be a first for Tacoma. Where will it be and what makes it different?

November 13, 2022. Article by Liz Moomey, The News Tribune.

The City of Tacoma is planning on opening a mitigation site at 3561 Pacific Avenue for homeless adults. The site which holds 50 tents is a low-barrier shelter with day-to-day operations being managed by the Tacoma Rescue Mission.

See full article here: The News Tribune

Video by Pete Caster, The News Tribune

Tacoma Rescue Mission Looks to Help Anyone in Need – Mission Thrift Grand Opening

July 26, 2022. Article & Video by Michael Driver, Fox 13 News.

A thrift store in Tacoma had their grand opening last week, but this isn’t just any business—this local spot is all about helping their employees and customers with fulfilling their needs, all while finding some great deals.

See full article here: Fox 13 News

Video by Michael Driver, Fox 13 News

Tacoma Rescue Mission Hosting Grand Opening for New Thrift Shop

July 20, 2022. Article by Audrey Herrin, South Sound Mag.

Tacoma Rescue Mission is holding a grand opening for the new thrift shop Mission Thrift in the 6th Avenue Business District on July 22. The shop will sell Tacoma Rescue Mission’s excess donated items including toys, clothing, and furniture. The grand opening is open to everyone and will feature discounts, food and drink, and family-friendly activities.

The goal of Mission Thrift is to assist those experiencing homelessness and community members in need more broadly.

See full article here: South Sound Mag

Courtesy of @TacomaMission Facebook Feed

Here’s Pierce County’s $50M plan to house 200-300 of its chronically homeless residents

July 19, 2022. Article by Alexis Krell, The News Tribune.

Pierce County leaders are looking at a development outside Austin, Texas as a model for addressing chronic homelessness. The community has permanent-housing micro homes arranged into neighborhoods, with a health clinic, addiction, mental health services, and on-site job opportunities.

The Tacoma Rescue Mission has expressed interest in potentially operating it, recently submitting a feasibility study that the County Council discussed at a study session on July 11. A full proposal for the development, including a location for it, will go before the council in October.

See full news coverage at the following news outlets: The New Tribune.

Video by Loumay Alesali

The Tacoma Rescue Mission requests community support during kitchen closure and major renovations

April 15, 2022. Coverage by multiple news outlets.

The kitchen at the Mission’s Downtown Campus (425 S Tacoma Way) is closing amidst much-needed, major renovations and expansion from April 29th to June 30th. The Mission is requesting community support to continue providing crucial meals to our neighbors in need during this time.

See full news coverage at the following news outlets: The New Tribune, Komo 4, and Q13 Fox

Video by Steve Kiggins, Q13 Fox


March 17, 2022. Article by Dustin Sterns, LifeBridge Church Pastor

Life Bridge Church and the Tacoma Rescue Mission partner to offer a free eye care clinic to neighbors in need. Individuals and families experiencing homelessness were able to get free eye exams, prescription lenses, and frames.

Read the full story at Northwest Adventists.


December 25, 2021. Article by Josephine Peterson, The News Tribune

Pierce County, the City of Tacoma, and homeless service providers have banded together to provide more shelter than ever before. The Tacoma Rescue Mission has added 50 beds to their 140 bed total (90 at the men’s shelter and 50 at the women’s), said Executive Director Duke Paulson. He doesn’t want to turn anyone away in cold weather, promising to convert the cafeteria, hallways, and day space to sleeping areas if needed.

Read the full story on The News Tribune website.


November 25, 2021. Article by Angeli Kakade, King 5 News

Community members rally to donate urgently-needed food donations to the Tacoma Rescue Mission to help provide meals for their vulnerable neighbors. In just a week, a couple turkeys in the freezer turned into 1,100 turkeys. Thanks to the communities generosity, these turkeys will not only provide Thanksgiving dinners but will also help to feed individuals and families experiencing homelessness after the holidays are over.

Read the full story on the King 5 News website.


July 13, 2021. Article by Lora Shinn, Pacific Lutheran University

Duke Paulson ‘93 graduated from PLU in 1993 with a major in biology and a minor in psychology. While at PLU, he was on the swim and rowing teams, played soccer for a bit, and was heavily involved in Young Life. Today, he’s executive director of Tacoma Rescue Mission where COVID-19 has added to the already urgent work of sheltering and supporting individuals experiencing homelessness in Tacoma.

Read the full story on the Pacific Lutheran University website.


September 17, 2020. Article by Josephine Peterson, The News Tribune

Returning to school is tricky for every family this year. For families living in a shelter with limited Wi-Fi, the challenges can feel insurmountable. Executive Director, Duke Paulson, didn’t realize until a few weeks prior to school starting that the Adams Street Family Campus would become an ad hoc school. Traditionally, the emergency shelter has focused on providing immediate needs like food, and shelter and reducing the barriers that cause homelessness.

Read the full story on The News Tribune website.

City to spend $1.6 million to help expand homeless shelter at Tacoma Rescue Mission

June 5, 2019. Article by Allison Needles, The News Tribune

The Tacoma Rescue Mission will expand this year to serve more people experiencing homelessness. Tacoma City Council unanimously approved a $1.6 million agreement on Tuesday to help add 50 beds to the Rescue Mission’s emergency shelter. The project will convert an existing storage facility on-site to a 24-hour emergency shelter.

Read the full story on The News Tribune website.

Women’s shelter coming to Tacoma Rescue Mission thanks to City of Tacoma contribution.

May 8, 2019. Article by Matt Driscoll & Video by Tony Overman, The News Tribune

Tacoma City Council approves $1.6 million commitment to help the Mission add a 50-bed women’s shelter at South Tacoma Way site.

Read more on The News Tribune website.

With a new leader, will Tacoma Rescue Mission adapt with the times? Let’s hope.

March 22, 2018 Article by Matt Driscoll, The News Tribune

It’s not hard to make the argument that the Tacoma Rescue Mission is one of the most important players in town when it comes to providing shelter, resources, and hope to the individuals and families experiencing homelessness. This week, the Mission named a new executive director, Duke Paulson, a 46-year-old Pacific Lutheran University grad with a long history working in the field. Next month, Paulson will take over for departed executive director Mike Johnson, who left the Mission in October 2017.

Read the full story on The News Tribune website.

How $1,500 is changing the lives of children at the Tacoma Rescue Mission

December 25, 2017. Article by Matt Driscoll, The News Tribune

A small, $1,500, grant through South Sound Together/Tacoma Children’s Museum has made it possible for the Tacoma Rescue Mission’s Family Shelter to open a preschool serving the children of people experiencing homelessness. Jackson said they are teaching the children how to trust their environment and others.

Read the full story on The News Tribune website.

Photo Credit: David Montesino, The News Tribune

Tacoma Rescue Mission group topples addiction and the state’s highest peak

September 17, 2016. Article by Matt Driscoll, The News Tribune

Tacoma Rescue Mission Executive Director Mike Johnson leads this year’s Mt. Rainier climb team comprised of recent or soon-to-be graduates of the Tacoma Rescue Mission’s addiction recovery program.

Read the full story on The News Tribune website.


August 31, 2015. Article by Matt Driscoll, The News Tribune

Since late 2011, according to executive director Mike Johnson, the ground under the building along South Tacoma Way has settled as much as five inches in some spots. It’s this sinking that led to the removal of the lighthouse after an inspection revealed that the structure was no longer safe. If a seismic event were to occur, according to the experts, the “symbol of hope” was likely to topple.

Read more on The News Tribune website.

Tacoma Rescue Mission’s lighthouse goes dark

August 26, 2015. Article by Brynn Grimley & Video by David Montesino, The News Tribune

The Rescue Mission in Tacoma had to take down its lighthouse Tuesday afternoon after finding that the settling of the building have rendered the structure unsafe.

Read the full article on The News Tribune website.