A Tacoma hotel is one step closer to housing people experiencing homelessness.
After months of planning, the Seattle-based Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) officially purchased the Comfort Inn at 8620 S. Hosmer St. in Tacoma on Friday for a total of $8.8 million.
The 94-bed, three-story hotel was purchased with help from the City of Tacoma, Pierce County and the City of Lakewood.
In its first two years of ownership, LIHI plans to use the hotel as a shelter for 120 men, women and couples, including pets.
“We are grateful to Pierce County and the cities of Tacoma and Lakewood for their foresight and compassion to help our unhoused neighbors. We have the opportunity during the pandemic to purchase a building to provide 120 people with a safe, warm place to get out of the cold and improve their lives this winter,” LIHI executive director Sharon Lee said in a press release Friday.
Lee told The News Tribune she received the keys Friday. She hoped to get the property sooner, but people had still been checking out of the hotel Friday morning.
Each hotel unit has a refrigerator, microwave, TV, WiFi, closet, private bath and air conditioning. The building has sprinklers, an elevator, laundry room, double-paned windows, security cameras and parking. The hotel, built in 2000, is in great condition, she said.
“We’re very happy,” Lee said. “We looked at other hotels that were very old — some of them were not in great shape.”
There’s some refurbishing to do before people start moving in, Lee said, but the goal is to have people in their rooms by the start of December. LIHI will identify people to stay in the shelter by working with Lakewood, Tacoma’s Homeless Outreach Team and members of the Tacoma-Pierce County Coalition to End Homelessness.
People will be eligible to stay at the site for three to six months, and staff will be on site 24-hours a day, seven days a week. On-site case managers will help residents with housing and employment applications, including assisting them obtain their identification cards and other documentation, LIHI said.