By Thailer Lieu, Local Resident.
Burien we need your help!
A homeless encampment is planned in a residential neighborhood, which is within two blocks of Highline School. The community is concerned about the proximity to the school and the lack of adequate time for preparation and review of zoning laws and regulations. Please reach out to Burien City to express concerns: (206) 241-4647.
***The photo attached is the note that the independently run organization left on our door. This is not being organised through the city!***
In my recent conversation with the organization responsible for this encampment, they made it clear that they are not funded by the city of Burien. The church owner has been aware of this proposal for the past two weeks and has conducted extensive research on the matter. However, it’s concerning that they provided us with less than 48 hours’ notice for this meeting by simply attaching the notice to our doors. This rushed approach raises questions about whether the safety and well-being of our community are being adequately considered. It feels as though we’re being pushed into this situation without the proper steps taken to integrate this encampment into Burien.
My concern is that this encampment is now planned for our neighborhood, where we walk our dogs and where our children play. Our community is located less than two blocks from the local [Highline] high school, and we have students who walk our streets to get to school. I’ve already reached out to the Burien City Council regarding this matter, and it’s alarming that they were unaware of this development. While they mentioned that it is allowed, there are zoning laws and other regulations that need to be thoroughly reviewed before this can proceed.
The city representative I spoke to also suggested that anyone with concerns should reach out to the Burien City Council to express their apprehensions about this situation occurring in our neighborhood with such short notice. It’s worth noting that even our local police are unaware of this situation. (206) 241-4647.
They are looking into this and ensuring that this meets the laws to move forward.
I fully understand that our state faces a significant and ongoing issue with homelessness. However, I find it puzzling that the church is not opening its doors to provide shelter and support for those in need. Why is this encampment being proposed in a residential neighborhood and so close to a public school? The organization mentioned trained security, but it’s important to recognize that security personnel do not have the authority to take the same protective measures as local law enforcement. Our community’s safety and well-being should remain a top priority.