By Marilyn Littlejohn
King County District Court Community Court Coordinator
Three words best describe what users of the new Burien Community Resource Center can expect when they visit the center: friendly, helpful and accessible.
Opened in February, 2019, as a joint effort of King County District Court and the City of Burien, the resource center offers access to approximately 40 community service providers. On any given Monday between 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon at the Burien Community Center (14700 6th Ave SW, Burien), a visitor will find, on average, 16 of these organizations ready to assist them. Â
Everyone is welcome to visit the resource center to obtain free services, including:
- Cash assistance
- Transportation / ORCA Lift
- Employment and training
- Housing search support
- Food assistance
- Health / medical care
- Legal assistance
- Dispute resolution
- Mental health treatment
- Substance use treatment
I tell people that we’re here to help everyone in the community – individuals, families, seniors – get access to the community resources they need to improve the quality of their lives. For anyone who might feel uncomfortable seeking help, it is important to realize we’re friendly. Just come check us out; you don’t need to talk to anyone if you don’t want to, but just see if we have something that will help you. If there is something you need that is not here, let us know and we’ll see if we can get you connected to that service.
Colleen Brandt-Schluter, human services manager for the City of Burien says:
“We’re excited to help coordinate all of these resources in one place. This greatly improves access to services for Burien (and other) residents.”
Community volunteer Marvin McMillan, who greets visitors to the Burien Community Resource Center, is a prime example of how the center is friendly, helpful and accessible. Marvin welcomes each visitor with a cheerful “hi,” and helps point you to the services you are looking for. A long-time volunteer in the Burien community, Marvin is no stranger to going above and beyond to help others. This spring a man experiencing homelessness came into the community resource center and told Marvin someone had given him a can of food, but he did not have a way to open it. On his own time and with his own money, Marvin got the man a can opener. Marvin is just one of many community volunteers who are available to help people access the resources they need to improve their lives.
“Our mission is transforming lives,” said Shana Curran, financial services specialist III with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). “It was a natural fit for us to be part of the Burien Community Resource Center, especially given the large population of homeless people in this area.”
Cindy Mai, health care navigator for Public Health Seattle & King County, is another of the dozens of service providers at the resource center. “We reach out to people where there is the most need. This is a great opportunity for serving both Burien and West Seattle, along with other nearby communities,” she says. By being co-located with other service providers, visitors get “one-stop shopping” for their needs, explains Mai.
Marilyn Littlejohn is a community court coordinator with King County District Court. Among other things, she has done community & intergovernmental relations for the City of Seattle Human Services Department, as well as managed its Domestic & Sexual Violence Prevention Office, and worked for the Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWa) in the adult education, employment training and naturalization programs.Â
What the Burien Community Resource Center is
King County District Court and the City of Burien created the Burien Community Resource Center as an integral part of Community Court in Burien. The community court is an alternative, problem-solving court that seeks to identify and address the underlying challenges of court participants that may contribute to further criminal activity. Its goal is to build stronger and safer neighborhoods and to reduce recidivism.
The Burien Community Resource Center provides a wide array of social services, and is available to all members of the public, in addition to the community court participants.
Burien Community Center is located at 14700 6th Ave SW, Burien.
- Every Monday, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon