City issues statement about homeless problem in Burien’s Annex Park


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Photo by Scott Schaefer. Click image to see larger version.

The City of Burien on Thursday (Aug. 21) issued a statement about an ongoing homeless problem in Annex Park, which is located at SW 146th and 4th Ave SW.

This location also hosts the Skate Park, with the area of concern being the grassy field located to the west and abutted by a hedge and fence. In addition, Burien Actor’s Theatre, Transform Burien and other organizations use the building to the north. A portable toilet is also located nearby.

Burien Evangelical Church – located on the other side of the fence at 500 SW 146th – apparently allows the homeless to sleep in their parking lot overnight, and during the day these same citizens spend time in the public park.

Over the last two to three months, The B-Town Blog has received numerous emails, phone calls, Facebook and text messages from Readers concerned about what’s been going on at this park. Publisher/Editor Scott Schaefer has personally visited the park many times, taken photos, observed and spoken with people present, but has never witnessed any illegal activities.

Burien Police are also well aware of this ongoing situation, and continue to monitor the scene.

“Burien is aware of community concerns regarding groups of apparently homeless adults and youth in local parks, and the City is taking actions to better ensure safe use for all,” reads a note on the city’s website. “Anyone who sees or suspects illegal behavior should call 911.”

As most every American should know, the First Amendment protects every citizen’s rights to “peaceably assemble” in public places like parks. Just because someone is homeless doesn’t – and shouldn’t – prevent them from enjoying the same rights as everyone else.

On a related note, the city’s recently-passed Ordinance 606 (read more here) will go into effect on Tuesday, Aug. 26. This new law will allow police to issue trespass violations, “which will serve as an additional tool to address problematic behavior on public lands and facilities,” according to the city. Here’s an excerpt that lists definitions of “disruptive” behavior:

Here’s the city’s statement, as written by City Manager Kamuron Gurol:

Annex Park – Homeless

The City of Burien is aware of neighborhood and community concerns regarding the Annex Park and other parks in the City where groups of apparently homeless adults and youth have been congregating. We are taking actions to ensure safe use of our public parks and facilities.

All visitors who are enjoying Burien’s park and recreational facilities are welcome, and all should feel welcome. The City recognizes the concerns we’re hearing, for example from families with children. All public uses of City parklands and facilities need to be consistent with City laws and rules. No one can camp or stay overnight, nor use illicit drugs, urinate or defecate on park grounds, damage facilities, or threaten others. Anyone who sees or suspects illegal behavior should call 911.

The City’s actions must also be consistent with constitutional rights and protections (speech, assembly), and we can’t ask someone to leave if no laws or rules are being broken. The situation at the Annex Park appears to have started with the church next door allowing overnight stays on their property. Overnighters at the church appear to have been climbing the fence and using the park during the day. City staff has spoken to church staff, and that conversation needs to continue.

This past Monday night, the City Council adopted a new trespass ordinance, effective next Tuesday, which will serve as an additional tool to address problematic behavior on public lands and facilities. Staff is already working on administrative rules to implement the ordinance. Our City Council wants our Police and City staff to implement our regulations fairly and incrementally, and, if needed, this tool can be employed to address behavior that is unsafe, dangerous, illegal, or against City rules.

We also know that the trespass ordinance is not the solution to homelessness, and the City Council has asked staff to schedule a study session in the coming weeks to learn more. We appreciate your patience as we work with the church and the people who are using the park. Again, please call 911 if you see or suspect illegal behavior.

– Kamuron Gurol
City Manager

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Comments

69 Responses to “City issues statement about homeless problem in Burien’s Annex Park”
  1. Eric says:

    Concerned citizens could contact the church that is allowing the encampment to sleep on their property.

    Burien Evangelical Church
    (206) 244-5300

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  2. lost says:

    The city of Seatac has chased this group from their city property…why don’t we bus them back to a park in seatac?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 25 Thumb down 21

  3. Eric says:

    Burien Evangelical Church email…
    office@burienevangelical.org

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 10

  4. Jessica says:

    I have spoken with both Pastor Mike, and Chip Davis at Burien City Hall to express my concerns and to ask what is being done to help these homeless citizens. The short answer is nothing. There are zero services being offered by the church to help these people; no food, no restrooms, no clothing, no showers, no counseling, no job resources, not even attendance for church service. Instead the Burien Evangelical church is simply enabling them to remain homeless by giving them a place to sleep at night.

    There is a daycare center less than 1000 feet away and in two weeks school will start up and elementary, middle and high school students will be getting on and off the bus at the multiple stops at or very near the skate park. We have no way of knowing who is or isn’t a sex offender or violent criminal. I also don’t think the homeless set a very good example for our youth who use the skate park, or attend classes at the community center.

    Until there are services in place to support the homeless and protect our vulnerable residents Burien Evangelical church should not be enabling the homeless into our community.

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    • Question Authority says:

      When the rains come again they will be returning to the City Hall/Library complex just adding to that daily encampment. Hopefully the new rules that take effect Tuesday will be aggressivly enforced and the word gets spread around that Burien is not free loader paradise. Granted, no job equals no home but my efforts have payed off because I have both by not sitting around some city park on my arse.

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      • Joao says:

        Let me help you all sleep better at night… I am one of the few who visit this group daily I have known each person who is there for several years not one of them is violent or dangerous in any way… The most violent people come from outside groups to harass them and the worst part is they are the ones who are getting the bad wrap for everyone else’s selfish rude and uncalled for behavior.. For the most part we have kept a good reputation with the local police and I know for a fact the biggest problem actually caused by this group is the fact now they are forced to keep their stuff at the park… If you guys want to solve this problem a donation from just a few people could help them rent a apartment but instead we harass them when they have no where to go, pushing them away to be someone else’s problem is not the answer!! I cannot stress how that defines psychotic behavior expecting them to have a different result by taking thier home away again but I can stress how badly these guys need your help! And if you want to please feel free to come by and visit us anytime… That is the only way I could prove to you these are decent people were a family who sticks together and do the best we can to help each other keep our head above water…. Another good idea is instead of harassing us why don’t you all petition city hall asking to allow them to reside in a abandoned house where they can stay and sleep safely, even if they don’t give free power they don’t use power as is so they would still be grateful… Do not think that we enjoy being stuck at that park do not think we don’t go days without food or drink, just know if we seen someone hurting the ones you care about we would do what we can to help although we are not the police we do have enough man power to maintain justice and provide a decent community just as you might if you were in our shoes, and if you ever needed anything a drink of water or a bite to eat, we would oblige without hesitation or expectation, why don’t you guys just help us out too? Do we really gotta beg? Oh and please respond via email joaemamarok@gmail.com odds are I won’t return here to see people being ignorant to others and their life struggles, don’t forget some of us didn’t have parents to help us get thru life we didn’t have support and if you have the same problem but didn’t end up on your butt kudos for you but your one in a million we can’t all be so lucky or hard working especially when I myself have two years of management experience and still struggle to get a Job

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        • Loren says:

          There are many, many factors that contribute to a human being ending up without a stable living arrangement with a roof over their head. And God knows our politicians have completely dropped the ball on dealing with our mentally ill brothers and sisters. With that being said, the first step to freedom and stability for many homeless people, mentally ill or not, is getting clean and sober. Including not smoking dope. Burien for some reason has a huge AA and NA community that is ready and willing to help people who want to help themselves make positive changes in their lives. Not every homeless person is an alcoholic or drug addict I agree, but the impact of getting clean and sober for many homeless people means the end of homelessness.
          It’s wonderful to help people who want to help themselves.

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      • Joao says:

        I like how you assume that’s all they do, I find ignorance hilarious.. But fact if the matter is some of them do try and work they are not just sitting there creating food and drink from thin air.. most those guys I know personally and they never had the oprotunity to make something of themselves why don’t you get off your arse and help them find one so they can prove you wrong? Or would that just make you a decent person too, god forbid

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        • streetcornerbeggar says:

          Jaoa, I think the question is, why dont THEY get off their ares and look for a job?

          Rate: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

      • jayder says:

        Many of those kids do go home at night. As for the Adults, I’m sure not everyone is just beig lazy as you suggest. There is a huge hole in benefits offered by the state when you do not have dependents. A huge portion of the homeless population suffer from mental illness, which perpetuates drug use to help treat symptoms. Mental illness is not easily visible, nor easily treatable. Individuals who are lucky enough to get treatment usually have years of trial and error on medications that have more side effects then benefits. So please do not assume that you know why someone is homeless, because laziness is NEVER THE REASON.

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    • Jessica says:

      I also spoke with the Highline School district transportation department who was as of today unaware of this issue. They appeared to take this very seriously and said they will look into what can be done to protect our children.

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    • Joao says:

      Calm down skippy you want to figure out who is dangerous and or a threat to our children then look somewhere else we do not accept child molesters or rapist into our family and you can bet your life on it if any single one of us seen anything like that going on we would be the first ones to protect the innocent

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    • John says:

      My name is Jonathan i am 16 years of age and would be in 11th-12th grade along with my cousin same age but haven’t been in a stable living and or financial situation witch is my MAIN concern so I don’t get to think or plan for school, I don’t see what good will come of forcibly removing me and my father from here when just recently a group of people came through and threatened us with a gun which the only reason were still here this day is because there was enough if us here to detour them from committing something more serious than a threat. But besides that instead of looking at me like a low life why don’t you try to see me for who I am? I take the time out of my day to personally clean the park and water the plants for the church. I go out of my way to show people respect and give as much as I can to the community… If I could do more I would, if someone came by who needed their lawn mowed or house cleaned and decided to offer me a quick job I would be not only happy to help but grateful for the opportunity.. I’m not some lazy kid and this is not some punk gathering although I can reason why that may look like what it is, but unless your out here with me there is no way you could know the truth… Thank you for listening

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      • jayder says:

        Don’t listen to those people, they are ignorant to the effects of poverty. They sit in their nice big house, drive a new car, and have a fridge full of food. They cannot empathize because they are materialistic and selfish. Keep your head up, don’t sweat the small stuff like this idiot’s comment, you have the burden of SURVIVING ON THE STREETS WITH NOTHING something that he knows nothing about. I’m sorry for his stupidity.

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    • NW Citizen says:

      Since when are churches alone responsible for providing all the services which should be the responsibility of civil society? Churches already do a lot to help people who are poor but the problem is huge, much larger than what churches alone can do.

      That said, last I heard being poor was not a crime. If folks want to help, they need to step up and actually do something besides complain.

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    • chuck says:

      I absolutely agree!! This is a joke. Thanks preacher whoever you are for enabling this. You have not helped anyone. What you have done is ruin the families surrounding your church. I am one of the home owners that lives way too close to this church than I’d like. I understand the human nature to want to help our fellow man but please understand these folks DO NOT WANT HELP!! They want free place to sleep while they steal everything that’s not locked down in the area. What was a few people is now up to around 75 on a given day and literally growing by the day as word gets out. Anyone want to call me out on this?? Bring it on, because I’m furiously angry. Guess what people who support this crap…I haven’t gotten mail in over a month, want to know where we found shreds of it?? yup, you guessed it, in the church parking lot. My car has been broken into numerous times, tools stolen from my porch, and again, daily thefts of my mail and every single neighbor has a similar tale. So whereas Burien seemed like a decent place to live, honestly, I’m not so sure anymore and it doesn’t seem like the city counsel can get a handle on this. I understand this may not be affecting the Lake Burien area so the counsel is less than concerned but there are other people who live in this town!!! Not just surrounding the lake and the point. Thanks to the downright idiocy of one man and the apathy of our “leaders”, now numerous folks such as myself and my neighbors no longer feel safe. Before anyone talks any smack to me, let’s talk about the bums masturbating a casual 10 feet from my back yard, do I even need to mention I have kids? This trespassing bit? Who cares…what’s that going to do? It’s not trespassing when someone lets you stay there. The church as the root of this evil. The only way this trespassing bit will work is if the church gets their head of their, uhm yeah. I’m at the point where if I had my way, the entire church would be shut down and their pastor ran out on his arse. Thanks for ruining the area champ. Thanks for bringing sex offenders within feet of my yard and family. Amazing the damage the stupidity of one person can do to a community.

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  5. Burinal Dumas says:

    The city of Burien should just offer the homeless free one way shuttle bus rides to the Bellevue skate park of their choice.

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  6. Joey Martinez says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • Chris Reed says:

      Joey, how much compassion should we give then, since you’re seemingly the judge of that?

      The fact remains, that the church sanctioned the use of their property for these homeless, and now it’s having an adverse impact on the neighboring park. Homelessness is indeed a problem, however what is taking place does nothing to solving the problem. The City of Burien in not ill-equipped to handle this, and the congregants have been given no resources to better their existence.

      The thought I want to leave is this: How is the current situation enhancing the City of Burien? In my humble opinion, it is not making it better.

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    • Alexandra Z. says:

      I agree, Joey. Our community could definitely use more compassion. I mean, really, there are a bunch of sex offenders/criminals that we all don’t know about and, guess what? They are EVERYWHERE…being homeless does not dictate the morality of an individual…it can, but it is not a guarantee and, rather, a very bold assumption.

      In my opinion, those kids look like the same kids, or type of kids, that have frequented the area–during summer months–since the skate park originally opened. In reference to the person who stated that she did not believe these youth are a “good influence” on the children at the skate park, I beg to differ. I do not choose to shelter my children from the reality that is their world. How does doing so set this “good example” that so many on here seem to be looking for?? What it does, is hides the reality that–yes, some teens are homeless. Some by choice, others by force. Personally, I would like to use scenarios such as these to teach my children both compassion, and that there are many reasons, none being black and white-that land people of all backgrounds to such an unfortunate situation. By doing this, I am insuring that my children will not go into life, on their own, and be entitled, compassion-less, and shell shocked.

      I believe that it is our job, as parents, to teach our children the ways of the world; not some delusional ideal of what we would “like”, or think, our world “should” be like. It is MY job to lend a good example to my children, and MY job to explain to them the why’s and what for’s when others are behaving less than desirably.

      Maybe, just maybe, if more parents actually stayed with their children, and supervised their activities, the problem, or rather “perceived” problem, could resolve itself. Additionally, there was a time that I was one of those kids, too; and, surprise, surprise–I am a High-School graduate, College educated, Police record-less, Registered Voter, and married Mother of two…you know what they say about assumptions, don’t you?!

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    • Jessica says:

      Joey I am so glad you were not elected to serve on our city council. You offer zero ideas on how to improve the situation but instead use your voice to tell concerned citizens they are simply wrong.

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      • Kashama La Ma Lauren says:

        I too am glad Joey was not elected. He’s such a whack job he makes Lauren Berkowitz look good!

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    • TbC says:

      I’m sure Joey would be more than willing to open up his yard to some or all of these homeless!

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  7. mr.bunnyz says:

    if you pay attention to, or maybe even took a second to actual notice more then their housing situation, you might notice that those possible “sex offenders”, and threats/bad influences on the children of the skate park are largely just children themselves. its not their fault if they have nowhere to go, or be, wether they ran from abusive homes, or maybe just didn’t have a home to run from in the first place, the majority are minors or just barely turned 18. i know the people shown in the picture displayed above and at least three are minors just sitting in the grass at a park with their friends…. instead of filing judgmental complaints with the city and making assumptions about these people for how they dress or where they fit into society, maybe just let them carry on with their day at the park like they did you…..

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  8. Question Authority says:

    I just drove by for my own first hand view and noticed they even have a ladder set up against the fence between the park and church property. I guess walking down and around
    for an additional 150′ round trip is asking to much of them, I guess sitting around all day must be exhausting work. Now, if in fact you could escape the long arm of the law by climbing over on to church property to escape prosecution by claiming sanctuary on religious ground(s) then I could see the ladder benefit.

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    • Guywhowatches says:

      I bet you checked to make sure your doors were locked while you were at the light.

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      • Question Authority says:

        Actually I made sure I had one cocked in the chamber, just kidding! FYI I did not go out of my way to drive by and witness what I did and I am certainly not afraid of some punks.

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        • Guywhowatches says:

          I find it interesting how you respond as in you were breaking the law by driving with a loaded weapon then correct your self with a just kidding remark hmm. Now I highly doubt any of theses people that are down on their luck are packing a loaded weapon worrying about some old fart with a keyboard and mouse I looked on the crimereports.com website there has not really been any crimes other than regural stuff in the area . So just because these people are down on their luck is no reason to be absolute jerk about the situation are you really gonna shoot someone because they have less money than you.

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          • Question Authority says:

            Wow, you sure are wound up tight and no I did not have a loaded weapon with me but I also have the federal license to carry one for your information. While I have your attention others have said they have known this group for years and their unfortunatesituation has not improved, why is that one could ask. Maybe they should try to get a job so they don’t live in a park and then everyone will be better off.

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            • Guywhowatches says:

              Sorry but you have posted before that you have use pot in the past and any history of narcotic use voids any weapons permit especially federal permits

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              • Question Authority says:

                Wrong again, pot is legal in the State of Washington and I because of my job choice have not had the opportunity to burn any in almost 30 YEARS! Convictions and other legal matters disqualify people from having a weapons permit but my past that you seem to know all about does not seem to matter because I have had that permit since 1984!

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                • othersideofthetracks says:

                  I because of my job choice have not had the opportunity to burn any in almost 30 YEARS!
                  Bummer,
                  Must be time to change careers,,*lol*

                  Rate: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

                • Guywhowatches says:

                  yes it legal in here in washington but not federally it is still illegal in federal government’s eyes. If you look on your form there is a little check box that asks if you had any use or history of use of illegal narcotics in your lifetime. So that means even 30 years ago and it doesn’t even need to be a charge on your record witch mean when checked that box you falsified information on a federal document. Thinking about what said if you have loaded around in the chamber of firearm before anything happened as you stated that counts as pre meditated not self defense. So if you would of pulled your weapon out and fired and hit and killed someone then you would have gone to prison for premeditated manslaughter most likely. Laws are tricky get to know your laws before you buy a firearm and get your self in some trouble dummy!

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    • Puddles says:

      If you only knew how absurd you sound.
      They don’t need to run, they haven’t done anything.
      Does anyone see how this sounds?
      A bunch of townies who are afraid of the homeless.
      Because you dream up every possible known scheme for crazies.
      I bet you that was the Church’s idea. Why don’t you go ask?
      You scared the police will tell you it’s nothing to worry about?
      You’re afraid to hear the words, “We’re already talked to them twice today, just go about your day, everything is under control. Thanks for your concern”
      I’ll think that’s what Officer Barns would say.
      You’re opinion sounds like that of a paranoid delusional.
      Just because you can walk and talk doesn’t make you either decent or intelligent.
      I don’t know you, likewise, you don’t know me, but I think we’re all getting a pretty good idea of the community we all are apparently “stuck” in.
      Afraid to accept responsibility that is given with this “country” based off your degenerate lifestyle feeding off table scraps of the federal reserve.
      So let’s be decent, let’s help them. Not cast into exile.
      Or think of them as “criminals.”
      We’re all criminals for keeping Obama in office!
      But that’s besides the point!
      The point is stop saying, “Nyeah-Nyeah-Nyeah, Homeless People Scare Me! Nyeah-Nyeah-Nyeah!”
      Start saying, “Yeah-Yeah-Yeah, Let’s Help The Homeless! Yeah-Yeah-Yeah!”
      Let’s be the good guys, not the bad guys.
      Let’s be heroes, not villains.

      We don’t need to make example of our humane cruelty, we do that everyday on our own…

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      • Puddles says:

        Seems to me that the defensive people like to get way too comfortable with feelings of fear and passive violence. Like anyone can solve this “wittle probwum” but us?
        Have these people hurt anybody? I doubt it.
        Do they want to take your children? Highly unlikely.
        Do they look menacing? Psh.. Please. They’re homeless!
        Personal Health may be an issue.. but nothing a shower couldn’t fix?
        If so, then there’s plenty of low income health clinics, and Highline MC treats about everyone that walks in the ER as well.
        No doubt they are eternally grateful for the Church’s hospitality, it doesn’t seem like they want to loose that privilege.
        Look at the way they feel us spying on them when they look at the camera.
        Like they’re animals.
        You can feel the uneasiness.
        You people are acting like they’re escaped convicts, some of these people are kids for crying out loud. I’m not putting anything on blast here but the negligence.
        Though i know, you’re right.. it’s nobody’s job to help them, but we have a choice to? maybe a fundraiser? build an actual shelter? create jobs?
        there’s also a foodbank and soup kitchen on Sundays at the old community center.
        But my point is, don’t attack people who you call “potentially dangerous” cause obviously they’re not the aggressive ones.. Hiding behind you’re police for protection that isn’t even relevant. I hope you know the police and them are co-existent.
        They look out for them, so to speak, in the same way, they’re looking out for us.
        BUT-
        The system is well-known to be broken. The best we should do is try to fix it where we can, do our part, not give the problem to someone else.. that’s lazy and ignorant. We learn nothing in that course of action. And yes, if something were set up legitimately , I would GLADLY put in a donation. Something must be done to “HELP” these people, and I wouldn’t mind being a part of it.
        Excuses like fear, money, and aggression are considered cowardly everywhere.

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      • Question Authority says:

        You win todays foil lined hat award.

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    • Puddles says:

      Seems to me that the defensive people like to get way too comfortable with feelings of fear and passive violence. Like anyone can solve this “wittle probwum” but us?
      Have these people hurt anybody? I doubt it.
      Do they want to take your children? Highly unlikely.
      Do they look menacing? Psh.. Please. They’re homeless!
      Personal Health may be an issue.. but nothing a shower couldn’t fix?
      If so, then there’s plenty of low income health clinics, and Highline MC treats about everyone that walks in the ER as well.
      No doubt they are eternally grateful for the Church’s hospitality, it doesn’t seem like they want to loose that privilege.
      Look at the way they feel us spying on them when they look at the camera.
      Like they’re animals.
      You can feel the uneasiness.
      You people are acting like they’re escaped convicts, some of these people are kids for crying out loud. I’m not putting anything on blast here but the negligence.
      Though i know, you’re right.. it’s nobody’s job to help them, but we have a choice to? maybe a fundraiser? build an actual shelter? create jobs?
      there’s also a foodbank and soup kitchen on Sundays at the old community center.
      But my point is, don’t attack people who you call “potentially dangerous” cause obviously they’re not the aggressive ones.. Hiding behind you’re police for protection that isn’t even relevant. I hope you know the police and them are co-existent.
      They look out for them, so to speak, in the same way, they’re looking out for us.
      BUT-
      The system is well-known to be broken. The best we should do is try to fix it where we can, do our part, not give the problem to someone else.. that’s lazy and ignorant. We learn nothing in that course of action. And yes, if something were set up legitimately , I would GLADLY put in a donation. Something must be done to “HELP” these people, and I wouldn’t mind being a part of it.
      Excuses like fear, money, and aggression are considered cowardly everywhere.
      Let’s be a Yes We Can! not a No We Can’t..

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoGtaXt5f1w

      ^ Think we could we one-up these guys? ^

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  9. Burienneedscommonsense says:

    They turn on the sprinklers at Lake Burien School Park on July 4 to keep folks from lighting off fireworks. Why can’t they do the same thing to clean up the skate park?

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    • Joao says:

      They do lol but what do you expect them to next show up with the fire fighters and hose them off the property come on where is the humanity

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  10. Ken says:

    Has anyone talked to the homeless people hanging out in the park to let them know that they are part of this community? Even if they are here temporarily they are still part of it. Treat them like people and they will act like people. Ask them to not leave trash laying on the ground, don’t piss on the trees, don’t get high in public, etc… If people treat them like outsider misfits then that’s what they are going to behave like. There are no services in Burien for homeless people so they are obviously feeding themselves somehow and taking care of all of their other needs.
    If you interact with any of these folx say hi. Don’t turn your nose up at them. It’s not like we’re Seattleites.

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  11. Ken says:

    And I hope that the part of the ordinance that can trespass people for stinking is for people who wear too much perfume.

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  12. eric says:

    “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Just saying.

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    • Question Authority says:

      Not to discount the bible and all that but you could add to your list –
      “I need to become a contributing member of society and get a job and better my situation”

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      • Eric says:

        The Bible also says “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.”
        2 Thessalonians 3:10

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        • eric says:

          I am not a bible scholar, but here is a scholar who disagrees with your use of this quote to not help those in need – http://www.nathaneubank.com/2013/11/13/why-no-one-should-ever-cite-if-anyone-will-not-work-let-him-not-eat-2-thess-310-to-justify-neglect-of-the-needy/

          A few other quick quotes about helping:

          Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. (Matt 5:42) [Note: give to everyone, not simply those who seem sufficiently industrious to us]

          Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. (Luke 6:30)

          Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27)

          Is not this the fast that I choose: to…share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? (Isaiah 58:6-7)

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    • Wanker says:

      Yes, I can see how a fairy tale about a dude in sandals doing magic tricks is relevant to Burien’ homeless problem.

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  13. Ian says:

    Very glad im not the only one concerned about this mayhem at the skate park.

    Its time to get aggressive. I myself have called police many times, and the deputies agreed with me that it is very much a problem, but its hard to take legal action other than when they sleep the night in the park which is illegal.

    many of the kids have homes to live in. One officer said that the park is also being used as a ‘meeting ground’ for some kind of punk gathering. Note that most of these kids are not the average homeless- tye dyed shirts, blue hair, the works.

    I was disgusted when i went there to see two of them making out (to put it politely) in broad daylight. and about 30 others standing around.

    When i have visitors from out of town, it definitely is not with much pride one says, “and this is our local neighborhood park…”

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  14. Hooray for White Center says:

    they may not be breaking the law ‘peacably assembling’ in a park, but i think they’re breaking the law using it as a meeting place for a socially-annoying group.

    If the City of Burien finds it acceptable to provide a place for them to remain during the day, then why cant the city provide somewhere away from the rest of the citizens who want to use the park to actually have a good time?

    we dont go to the park to watch homeless people making out and smoking weed like some sort of hippie zoo.

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    • Joao says:

      Well me hooray for white center you came over and looked inside the bowls we were smoking? Cuz if you didn’t notice it’s tobacco we can’t afford packs of cigarettes so a lot of us go find the left over halfies and roll out the tobacco into pipes and bongs which we use to smoke don’t believe me get over there and ask or better yet stop assuming things about people you don’t even know

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  15. Katie says:

    Many households are at risk of losing their homes right now — if a parent were laid off or even missed a paycheck. Sadly, not everyone has supportive family/friends to turn to for money or a couch to use.

    I have to believe that no one would have their children sleeping in City park if there were any other options available to them ~ If there are in fact children there I believe the police & City are obligated to find them safe shelter — this may mean a foster home if there’s no temporary shelter available to house the kids & parent(s) — if there is this would be ideal since case management/counseling is a requirement of shelters that offer more than just overnight beds — and these parent(s) may really benefit from this help!

    I live in Burien, my daughter has attended school here for 6 years but I’ve spent 15 years working for a homeless housing and services provider with our services located in downtown Seattle.

    The services, shelters, temporary & transitional housing opportunities are becoming saturated and very difficult/competitive to access over the past few years — when we saw the huge influx of homeless folks moving to the Ballard neighborhoods it seemed it was only a matter of time before folks would also show up in neighborhoods on the other side of downtown (like Burien)

    I do hope this topic receives appropriate attention from the City & Police in order to come up with a consistent way of handling these situations — and hopefully having a huge resources list on hand to refer people to. The huge increase in homeless populations in cities surrounding Seattle having been growing like crazy — it has been a bit of a mystery as to why Burien had not experienced this influx yet — it would be great if the folks in charge are able to create a response plan & research other area’s mistakes and learn what is not effective!

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  16. Katie says:

    I cannot believe that anyone would have their children sleeping in a city park unless it was their last/only choice ~ MANY households are at risk of being homeless if even just one paycheck were missed….

    That said, I agree that Burien is not equipped to provide services to homeless individuals or families! But this didn’t stop other cities on the outskirts of downtown Seattle from being bombarded with a huge influx of homeless folks — I hope that Burien officials & Police realize that resources will need to get funded and in place OR sit down and agree on a really strong response plan that everyone abides to consistently — this would include a solid updated list of resources and locations to refer folks to within 10 miles of Burien and possibly set aside a fund to provide folks with bus or cab vouchers in order to access the current resources in areas nearby.

    For 15 years I’ve worked for a large homeless service and housing organization downtown and so many of these services, shelters, transitional housing and affordable housing opportunities are becoming so saturated that many homeless folks have migrated out of downtown (especially those who have kids with them) — Ballard’s homeless population multiplied by 100s in the past 2 years –that area was really caught off guard as to how to respond and it’s only gotten worse…..

    It’s been a bit of a mystery as to why Burien has not yet experienced the influx of homeless folks that has been expected for some time now — again I urge those who have a say in these sorts of things to take this seriously sooner than later and get a plan in place!

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  17. Name (required) says:

    Load them up on a bus to Yakima to pick apples for the season?

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  18. Cynthia says:

    I grew up in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco which is right next to the Panhandle. Our block* was cornered by a halfway house for teenagers and a homeless shelter. Growing up in such an environment helped me to develop compassion and empathy for those who cannot find a way out of their misery, addiction or condition.

    I wish that these comments would be more proactive in nature and offer solutions other than shipping them off to another city. Utilizing this human capital is the only way for society to survive. We must gather to collectively communicate our concerns and offer possible solutions! And if work allows, I shall be at the next city council meeting.

    Stop grumbling and get involved!

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  19. Katherine says:

    I’d really rather not have a Nicholsville/The Jungle situation play out here in Burien. At least Nicholsville was in the middle of an industrial zone and not the heart of West Seattle.

    And when you say “jobs” I’m hoping you don’t mean like the work crew at 148/1st Ave/518 intersection, where they change shifts like clockwork and provide a lovely welcome to Burien tableau. (Watched one the other morning, she was a little late so she had to run. But right on the dot of ten o’clock, she pulled the shared sign out of the bushes and had her cup out and began her slow pace west on 148th).

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  20. Keoki Lau says:

    It’s not like the city of burien takes care of its parks anyway, the only park that looks maintained is lake burien, there is no place for ANY basketball player to go beside the skatepark, and the skate park has had a bad reputation ever since th commjnity center relocated n

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    • Keoki Lau says:

      Back to the comment, the parks in burien are not inviting to anyone, no matter who’s responsibility it is to hold our parks to a standard where the youth have a nice place to play.

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  21. Jenn says:

    First of all there is an organization in Burien trying to do its part to get these people the help they need and get them off of the streets! The organization is a non profit called Transform Burien (Transformburien.org) It serves a hot meal every Wednesday and every Sunday all year long. It also has a food bank and a clothing bank. Transform Burien has helped numerous people get off of the streets, into drug and alcohol treatment and into transitional housing. It also helps with resumes and provides community service opportunities where these young people (many of them kids themselves) can gain skills that can help them attain a job. Many comments were made that the church is enabling without providing help I am not completely sure but I believe that the church is a generous giver and serves on a regular basis at Transform Burien. I am a mom with young children and I want to know I can go to the park with my kids and be safe, I understand that! But what so many people here are doing is dehumanizing the children that have no where to live! They have go somewhere. The church just recognized a need…. If you don’t want them in your parks do your part to support the organizations trying to offer help! You can donate money, food, clothing you no longer need, blankets, sleeping bags, toiletries or your time. Many of these people were raised on the streets and it takes building relationship and being involved with them, loving them, to change them… to help them see that although society has been treating them as subhuman, they are not! They are valuable people and they can live different lives… it takes love to change these lives! So be kind, treat all people like people, and if you have more than you need give! You can help change this situation but it takes love!

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  22. Joey Martinez says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  23. Brian says:

    I live within a block of the park and am frankly tired of all the homeless in the area and trash hanging out at the transit center. It’s sad that I have to go to the Safeway on PacHwy to not be bothered. I’m also exercising my civil rights to “open carry” while in Burien until the city can get itself under control.

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    • Joao says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  24. Joao says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • Johnny Quid says:

      NO PROBLEMS!?!?! are you really this ignorant? I’ve read a few of your posts and almost thought hmm, maybe there is something to this guy but then i thought about how all my cars have been broken into in the last month, my mail hasn’t came in a month, I broke up a fight between 3 of your “innocent” people at a casual 3am the other day. Can we talk about the guy I had to step over because he was so hammered he couldn’t stand up. yeah, all this is from people staying with you. These people you are protecting are stealing everything in the area that isn’t nailed down. Now, here is the part where you say “oh, yeah, well where is your proof they are staying here”. I have it, trust me. So does every single neighbor living around the church. I’m sick of finding my mail in the church parking lot. The fact you are blatantly lying time and time again on this site is disturbing. Fair enough if you’re one of the mentally ill with a pathological lying complex or what have you but you know as well as the rest of us what’s really going down. Nobody would care if you simply respected the area, meaning, don’t wank off in public (yeah, that’s been my personal favorite so far. Luckily I’m not easily offended as most), don’t steal our stuff, don’t pass out in the middle of the road, don’t get in fights in front of people’s houses at ungodly hours, don’t smoke weed out in the open even though it’s legal. I’m not against weed, trust me but if you are claiming that your friends aren’t smoking weed, it’s tabacoo in a pipe then you are clearly uneducated or your lying. The two don’t even smell remotely similar. Honestly, I laughed out loud when I read that utter and complete bullshiat. I’m tired man. I’m tired of you guys jacking all my shiat, i’m tired of seeing sexually rampant d-bags going to work like it’s ron jeremy’s playground. C’mon man, to completely deny any of this activity that I’ve seen way too much of you’re seriously either lying or you have the rosiest colored glasses ever made and bro, we both know which one it is.

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      • Joao says:

        I’m sorry did I say I speak for all the homeless? No I did not! If there is someone stealing your mail or wanking off in your yard handle it like a man instead of coming at me like I’m responsible for the few who are criminally active… And further more calling me a liar is your own speculation that I’m going to choose to ignore because of your lack of knowledge it can’t possibly be worth my time arguing with you… Like I said many times before come over and voice your concerns with us maybe just maybe it could solve your petty problems… And lastly instead of attacking me like a coward online why don’t you try treating someone with respect so we can have a civil conversation?

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  25. pamela says:

    Well this is just like Nicklesville. The begging at the intersections, here in Burien and by the off ramp of 509 and intersection of Highland park drive and West Marginal. There is a lady who begs down there and over 1 1/2 years was in Burien with a sign: pregnant with twins, blah blah blah, she is STILL begging down at Highland park drive, gotta wonder where her “kids” are.

    The ones with mental issues, are the “saddest” ones. I know medications are hell. Some truly chose to be homeless, I know this for a fact, having talked and dealt with Nicklesville. Then when it was closed they moved into the greenbelt along Meyers way. It was horrible what what pulled out of there once it was fenced off.

    There is no and sadly never will be an easy answer, if one is addicted, one NEEDS to make that choice everyday to be sober, period. If one has to be on meds, then ones NEEDS to make that choice to take the meds, despite the side effects. If one chooses to be homeless, that so be it, just pick up after yourself and keep it respectful to those around you.

    At least the church offers some place better than in the woods at the park. I just know from busting my ass back in the day with Nicklesville, most are ungrateful and are perfectly happy living the way they do.

    Don’t even get me started on the cats that they left behind.

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    • othersideofthetracks says:

      “pregnant with twins, blah blah blah, she is STILL begging down at Highland park drive, gotta wonder where her “kids” are.”
      I would imagine if shes pregnant, they are with her still.*lol*
      Sorry, couldn`t resist that one.
      But you are right, a lot of them if not most chose that lifestyle. I was doing some renovating at a hotel and talked to a couple few of them after they asked me for money and offered them some work, (grunt work mind you, but work) like moving some lumber, pouring some grout etc. and they didn`t want it.
      Even when I told them I`ll pay you cash on the spot.
      I`m like, you can kiss mine. If you think I`m just going to hand you over a few of my hard earned dollars just because you don`t want to get off your lazy ass and earn some.
      Now I know there are some who would love an opportunity to earn some money, maybe even steady employment to turn their lives around but i know that there is work is out there if you just look for it and are willing to make a little sacrifice.
      Like getting up and looking.
      I`m sorry, but I just dont have a lot of sympathy for most of them, the ones with mental health issues maybe, but then theres the trust factor always lurking in the back of your mind.
      I know there was one gal a while back who was begging for money at the corner of 146th and 509 with a sign that said 2 kids living in a tent please help, then I seen her at the Burien library wearing new hiking boots,eating a giant butterfinger and checking out dvd`s. (Go figure)
      Or when my 15 year old daughter came home and grabbed a loaf of bread, some luncheon meat and condiments, a couple of apples etc and the watched it thrown in the trash when he thought she was gone. Besides being hurt and confused, it kind of turned her the other way.
      I dont know, maybe I`m just a little ignorant to the whole issue or maybe a lot ignorant,
      or maybe I`m just one more of those guilty of looking the other way and just kind of ignoring the whole issue or maybe I just have more important things to do like teaching my kids and grandkids the value of hard work. I dont know.
      But in spite of everything I have said, when it was really cold a couple of years ago we
      (the wife, kids, grandkids and myself had made a shit pot full of turkey soup (okay, only I made the soup) from the leftovers and we made a bunch of sandwiches, took them down to pioneer square and handed it out, talk about appreciative people.
      Almost made me cry.

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  26. Troy Camp says:

    I have setup a meeting with Pastor Mike from the Burien Evangelical Church to talk about the problems in the neighborhood associated with the homeless sleeping at the church. Another pastor has agreed to attend with me to offer his help as well. Please email keepburiensafe@gmail.com and share your experiences, or voice your concerns. I will take these to the meeting and share them with Pastor Mike.

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  27. RJ Burien resident says:

    We are very supportive of providing services and a helping hand to those in need and we applaud the churches efforts and what they are trying to do. BUT… Since these folks have been camping in the park and in the church this summer, the numbers have grown. We no longer feel safe and avoid the park, which is on our way to work. We’ve had our cars broken into, our property stolen or destroyed, found countless condoms and needles where children play and were we live. People passed out and drunk along the side of the road in front of our house and have had our mailboxes broken into numerous times. When we went to speak to the pastor TODAY we passed a few young kids that were part of the group staying on the church grounds and there was mail from our house and from our neighbors for two blocks. We had just spoken to the police about the mail. They sleep along the neighbors fence, Expose themselves in a sexual manner and so on. Not everyone is like that. We have a proposal for the pastor and the church. You invited these citizens into our neighborhood and you should take full responsibility for their actions. YOU need to police them and YOU need to keep them on YOUR property and not in the parks. YOU go to each neighbor that had their mail stolen and YOU return their mail and you tell them it was the group you invited. Why do I have to do it? YOU invite them into YOUR yard where YOUR children find needles and condoms and people passed out on YOUR doorstep.. Disrespect YOUR family and YOUR children and tell me how long that would go on? There are ways to help people but not at the cost of your community and your neighbors. God Bless you for your efforts but we are pleading with you to stop….

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