Home Hope vs. Homelessness Homeless Advocates Fail to Walk Their Talk

Homeless Advocates Fail to Walk Their Talk

This photo is a stock image.

By Escribe de Veritas

This photo is a stock image.

Homelessness advocates and activists from both inside and outside of Burien give out false information to the Council, city staff, and residents at Council meetings. Furthermore, these expensive and failed homelessness projects and shelters that this small group of constantly writing and vocal complainers claims to want and say are needed (and that the city taxpayers should support), these advocates don’t even bother to show up for or volunteer to help with physically. The Oasis church/Sunnydale Village Camp is a perfect example of how most homelessness advocates/activists don’t walk their talk and don’t really even look at data about what is happening.

On Nov. 5, 2023, a public hearing meeting was held at the Oasis Church in Burien to discuss a tent encampment being allowed and opened on church property. There was also a previous illegal meeting held on Oct.29, 2023 that violated State Law on this issue.

At this Nov. 5th meeting, Cydney Moore (BCSC president, camp sponsor, and organizer) promised meeting attendees that this new tent encampment would be a high barrier for entry and its rules would be enforced. All campers would be legally screened prior to admission, security patrols would be onsite 100% of the time, and the camp organizers received a commitment from several other non-profit organizations to fill needed security services and other jobs that needed to be done hourly, daily and weekly to keep the camp and its residents in legal compliance with the signed agreement with the church, the city and the stated promises to the community. All services and resources needed by the tent encampment/campers would be provided and financed by her non-profit, other partner nonprofits, and volunteers. Her non-profit would cover toileting and waste removal services. (Food, medical, and other physical supplies and support services were “quasi” as to who or whether they would even be provided at all.)

A major problem Cydney Moore acknowledged was that the church site would be a food and other resources “desert” due to its location in the center of residential neighborhoods. Contrary to community commitments to delay opening by Pastor Mark Miller, the camp began operations on Nov. 6, 2023. 

At first, the Camp Daily Staff Schedule showed the camp needed 15 staffing slots filled daily. That didn’t happen. Now, as of Nov.18, 2023, the Staff Schedule shows that 13 staff spots need to be filled daily. Again, that is not happening. From Nov. 6-Nov.18, 2023, only 5 Burien resident homelessness advocates have volunteered to work as Primary Staff (security) at the camp. Two non-Burien residents have volunteered to work as Primary Staff at the camp for a total of 7 volunteers agreeing to work. Based on the daily Primary Staff sign-up, this camp is only covered for security 14-15% of the time daily—-significantly lower than the 100% security time that was promised to the community at the November 5, 2023 meeting.

While sources familiar with the Ambaum encampment estimated 45 to 50 persons, only 4 tents have moved to the Oasis church/Sunnydale Village encampment. The Ambaum tent campers either are not interested in or do not qualify to be at the Oasis church/Sunnydale tent encampment. That is very different from what the homelessness activists/advocates have claimed/ testified to the Council and city staff profile and desires of what the Ambaum campers would need, once the Unlawful Camping Ordinance became effective. It has been reported by residents and case workers that approximately 99% of the Ambaum campers are substance-involved and exhibit criminal behaviors or have criminal records. Most importantly, they are unwilling to accept substance-use treatment and follow-up services.

Further, both the church and Cydney Moore know they are required to have a city permit-fees waived- to be open and operating. They have not applied for that, according to reports from the city. Is the Oasis/ Sunnydale camp walking its talk? Cydney Moore has violated her Oath of Office, the Burien City Council Rules of Order, and the Burien Code of Ethics. She should be censured by the Council until her term of office is finished. 

Sadly, now this same small group of homelessness advocates want the city and Council to accept the 1 million dollars from the KCRHA and the Pallet (fire-dangerous) tiny houses to be placed in Burien and maintained at Burien taxpayer expense far into the future (or if and when King County finally ends homelessness.) They refuse to look at the data again. The KCRHA and these homelessness advocates know that this type of tiny-house village cannot be built and funded for even one year for this paltry amount of money! The Unlawful Camping Ordinance needs to remain and be enforced. The city needs to turn down the 1 million dollar perpetual money-trap being set by KC and the KCRHA and the whining, ineffective Burien homelessness advocates!

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  1. The city council should not accept the county monies under the facts outlined in this article. There are other avenues to go down and that should be left to the city council once new council members are sworn in.

  2. I am all for a local church helping those in need but no drugs, no alcohol if you accept help. I support the camping ban. My hope was that if a camp opened in Burien, our police chief would enforce the ban. Now he says the camp is not a shelter and therefore he still is bound by the Boise ruling!
    The camping ban and Cyndy’s camp should give the homeless these options:

    1) stop taking drug and go to the camp
    2) if you do not want to go to the camp then get in the back of the police car
    3) if you want to continue taking drugs, dealing drugs and creating crime then get out of Burien or get in back of the police car, you are under arrest!

    That was the goal. But now the glitch is the camp is not a shelter so Ted Boe will not be able to send anyone there with a threat of being arrested. Why? Because a camp cannot be called a shelter unless it is indoors.
    I know there are folks in our town that do not even want a camp in Burien. It will not work they say. They are probably right but we have the Ambaum camp annyway, like it or not, it’s there. – and in my view a camp is a step up from being on Ambaum and 120th. To the NIMBY’s I ask, what is your plan? What can you do to get Ted Boe, our Chief of Police, to start enforcing the ban without getting sued? I thought a camp would provide the legal right for Ted. Nope. I was wrong- it’s not a shelter.
    So I tried to help but failed. Sorry. Sued to stop the DESC from coming to Burien. That failed too. Talk about defeated and disappointed! And here we are complaining about the church trying to help. What world is this???

  3. I’m one that thinks the churches offering their space makes sense being, well, the homeless will always be around so why not make specific places they can be. And I’m glad those rules and volunteers are part of the plan to be there! But, it’s sad for what reality is actually like. It’s sad a majority of the homeless can’t even follow those rules thus why the homeless aren’t there living and helping as they should.

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