City of Tacoma has identified three possible small businesses to occupy its newly acquired building on South Tacoma Way at 54th Street. A public meeting next week (April 27) will showcase the proposals and explain further the public effort to serve often-homeless youth and young adults.

The intent is to find a commercial operation to co-locate with a youth and young adult drop-in center that will provide emergency overnight shelter. Whichever local business is selected will be able to provide job training and employment opportunities for the largely homeless young people in the shelter.

Love by the Slice Baking & Catering Co., a family-owned firm operating in Tacoma since 2002, is one of the possible tenants. Tease Chocolate, a local project born out the Spaceworks Creative Enterprise program, is another that wants to provide training and support for artists and creative entrepreneurs.

The third prospective partner for the South Tacoma youth center is Rise UP! Baking Co., formed by a group of community members that foresees a bakery cafe – job training business model that has proven to be successful in other cities.

One of these three business proposals will be selected by the City and expected to open later this year in a 1,500 sq. ft. commercial space. The adjoining drop-in center and emergency overnight shelter are expected to be open early in 2008. Next week’s Community Meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Apr. 27, at Asia Pacific Cultural Center.