Letter to the Editor
Hello Burien City Council and City Manager Bailon,
There seems to be some misinformation/confusion regarding our earlier proposal and recent facts related to the homeless issue.
Here are the pertinent facts and available actions as I understand them:
- Our original proposed plan never included a temporary shelter encampment on the NERA Property.
- The NERA property was proposed as one possible location for the recent voter-approved King County Crisis Care Centers Levy.
- King County is currently negotiating the acquisition of the Behavioral Health Hospital that was recently closed in Tukwila.
- The behavioral Health Hospital is anticipated to be quickly reconfigured (in months) to serve as the permanent South King County Crisis Care Center.
- The $1,000,000 previously allocated to the King County Regional Housing Authority could be reallocated to the acquisition and setup of the former Behavioral Health Hospital.
- Enough Beds and Services currently exist for all unhoused/homeless individuals currently occupying Burien City Right of Ways.
- All unhoused/homeless occupants have been offered access to the following beds and services based on their current situation (4 people have accepted, 12+ have rejected help and services):
- Valley City Detox
- Low Barrier Shelter
- Kent Hope
- SUGM (Seattle Union Gospel Mission)
- Adult Teen Challenge
- Salvation Army
- Based on the recent King County efforts combined with the multiple offers of Beds and Services, no action needs to be taken by the City of Burien as it relates to a temporary encampment.
- The most humane Burien City Council action that should be taken is enacting a camping ordinance that makes camping illegal in the City of Burien. This will effectively force people to accept the previously offered treatment for mental illness and/or chemical dependencies.
- Any votes against a camping ordinance and/or support of an encampment without adequate supervision and non-Burien funding will be condoning the inhumane conditions that exist today and the possible future Bankruptcy of the City of Burien.
Daniel A. Mathews
Corporate Real Estate & Investment
T 206.248.7308 l C 206.406.3003