Tacoma community organizations unite to provide jobs and housing for vulnerable residents


A Tacoma community event connected those in need with permanent housing and employers who are currently hiring.

TACOMA, Washington – Tacoma Pierce County Associate Departments connected with Hire 253 to host a job fair Friday at People’s Park, creating a one-stop shop for people trying to get back on their feet or just in need of a little help.

“I think going out to places like these, these hiring events, is beneficial, not only for the homeless community, but for the community as a whole,” said Saydey Spears, a resident of Tacoma. who was able to get out of homelessness for three years. since. Spears knows firsthand the challenges of homelessness and how critical these events are to overcoming those challenges.

“At these hiring events, you have the opportunity to connect not only with your physical well-being, but also with your mental and spiritual well-being,” she said.

But it’s not just about food and clothing donations. Participants who came were able to access resources at the county level.

“We do a coordinated entry check, so for those experiencing homelessness, this is the gateway to the homeless response system in Pierce County,” said Mike Yoder, executive director of Pierce County. ‘Associated Ministries. “We do screenings so people are prioritized, assigned to a case manager, and hopefully housed on a permanent basis.”

Employers were also there to give people the opportunity to come away with a job.

“We have job opportunities, in fact, we even have jobs today, for people who are ready to go back to work,” Yoder said.

Pierce County’s unemployment rate is currently just over 5%.

While not as high as it was last April when it approached 20%, it is still slightly above the state average, so events like this are critical to meeting the need of people to find work.

Spears said she can understand that an event like this can be overwhelming, but she always encourages people to show up and it’s possible to rebuild.

“Before I got to these things, I was very lost. I didn’t know which direction to take, I didn’t know who to talk to, and up to a point, these places can be intimidating, ”said Spears. “But in the same breath it’s exciting, because you meet and greet people who are here because they care… I’m from the same place as them, but the difference is I can show them where they can end up at the top. “

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