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Why a Tacoma homeless activist dumped garbage on city official’s property

A tent in a Tacoma park. (KIRO 7)

In Tacoma, there were garbage bags dumped outside of a city manager’s house, and there was a flyer with Irene Morrison’s contact information on it, who is a member of Tacoma Housing Now, a Tacoma homeless activist group. Morrison joined KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show to discuss the incident.

Dori began with the obvious question: “Why did you guys dump a bunch of garbage outside a city manager’s house this weekend?”

“Tacoma Housing Now is an autonomous collection of individuals to take action to raise awareness about the housing crisis in Tacoma. We do not have any leadership. I am just a spokesperson, and so this was an action to raise awareness about a very specific problem,” Morrison responded.

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“One of the groups in our coalition is Food Not Bombs Tacoma, who has a bunch of street medics who go out regularly to take care of the medical needs of our houseless community, and they are consistently stymied in their ability to take care of these folks by the unhygienic and unsanitary conditions of the camp,” she said. “… We had a couple of meetings with the mayor to get them to take swifter action on this, and the whole system is necrotic.”

Morrison says the city’s pilot programs are ineffective in helping Tacoma’s homelessness issue, and that this action was a means of illustrating that and bringing the issue to official’s doorstep.

“They have these small pilot programs, like the so-called purple bag program, which supposedly helps with this issue. But we had over 200 bags of trash. We wanted to prove that this is a huge issue. Diseased rats are running around these camps. Our medics can’t effectively treat conditions,” she said.

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“We want them to stop ignoring the problem,” she added. “These folks have to live with that every day, and we are tired of people closing their eyes and remaining blind to these horrific conditions. So we need to bring it to their doorstep if we have any hope. We tried the other way. We tried going to city officials and it didn’t work. So this is desperate. This is the only option.”

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