'Probably wouldn't have survived': Man thanks Tacoma shelter for help in the winter months

The city of Tacoma will open a temporary warming shelter in the northeast neighborhood by the end of the month, a topic that has caused controversy in the community.

Three out of four community centers in Tacoma are providing services to folks who are experiencing homelessness. The only one currently not providing any services is the Center at Norpoint.

Officials say by the end of the month, that center will open its doors to 25 people experiencing homelessness, specifically women or couples.

However, this decision worried some of the folks who live in the area.

During an open forum, hundreds of questions poured in regarding how the facility will operate.

Tacoma City Councilmember Robert Thoms says following the forum he believes many of the concerns have been calmed.

"I feel encouraged based on the email traffic and the communications I’ve had directly with several of the homeowners, organizations in Northeast Tacoma," said Thoms.

For folks already staying at the city’s current warming shelter, they say it is a literal life savior.

"There’s a lot of us in here that appreciate it, big time. Like, we would have nothing if we didn’t have this place right now, and probably wouldn’t have survived this long because it’s been a very cold winter," said Nic Brown.

There is no official date of when the new shelter will open, Thoms said.

The shelter at the Center at Norpoint will operate until the end of February.