Housing & Homelessness

Tacoma Housing Authority

Tacoma, WA

Arlington Drive Youth Campus

Project Details

The number of homeless youth has long been growing in Tacoma and Pierce County: in 2017 alone there were more than 1,070 youths in Pierce County who were homeless. To address this crisis, the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) developed 3.5 acres of land adjacent to its community of New Salishan, into Arlington Drive, a service-enriched campus that provides homeless youth and young adults with short- and long-term housing options and high quality, empowering supportive services. These services include professional trauma-informed case management, independent living skills training, social support, and job training.

BDS Planning, now Uncommon Bridges, in collaboration with Jackie St. Louis and Nissana Nov, designed and facilitated a community engagement process to inform stakeholders on how Arlington Drive can become the most valuable asset possible to youth in need as well as to the broader neighborhood of Eastside Tacoma. In addition to seeking people’s views, concerns, advice and support for the campus, the engagement process was also intended to help community members of Eastside feel a sense of ownership of the project, and thus actively help to integrate the campus into the surrounding neighborhood.

In 2017-18, BDS Planning conducted more than 40 unique community engagement activities about the planned Arlington Drive Youth Campus. The BDS Planning team engaged with organized neighbors, public and non-profit service providers, faith-based organizations, law enforcement, local educators, and most importantly, youth and young adults who have experienced the trauma of homelessness. The campus was officially opened in June 2020.


"Yesterday, the Arlington Drive Crisis Residential Center recieved its first four homeless youth, ages 12 to 17 years! This day has been long in coming. Your support has been critical. We hope you feel this is also your success.” - Michael Mirra, Former Executive Director of THA

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