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Tacoma Small Business Struggles Amid Homelessness Crisis

When Blake Mara and her business partner, Brian Cheeseman, started Heritage Coffee and Plant House in Tacoma’s Dome District last summer, they wanted their unique concept to become a destination for local artists and a community gathering place. Mara says she “saw the potential of the local neighborhood,” and Cheeseman adds he wanted to make the area “better for our whole community, not just us.” Like any new business, Mara and Cheeseman knew there was financial risk involved. Mara says she invested everything she owned in Heritage, but “had absolutely no idea how bad it was going to be.” Mara and Cheeseman could never have prepared for the homelessness crisis spiraling out of control at their doorstep. They tell me Read More ›