[EDITOR’S NOTEThe following is a Letter to the Editor, written and submitted by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of South King Media, nor its staff:]

Dear Board of Directors of C.A.R.E.S. of Burien/Des Moines,

[Sorry for the generic salutation but we couldn’t find any public information as to who you are.]

We have been regular donors and active supporters for years. We’ve been so grateful for the role you play in our community.

Unfortunately, we recently learned that you may use donations for a short-term lease of the site on SW 152nd and 6th Ave SW which is currently the site of an encampment for the unhoused. History shows that this property was offered for lease explicitly to displace the current residents, who are among the most vulnerable and marginalized in our community.

We are sick to think that our donations could be used for this purpose. We will not be supporting your organization for this purpose, and urge you to reconsider the ill-advised decision to steer this organization into controversy and poor use of funds this way.

It only deepens the (in our view, mistaken) belief that we do not have the resources to take care of both vulnerable humans and animals. This is not at all what an animal shelter should be using critical funds for.

We know that your staff and volunteers are incredibly hard-working and devoted individuals and we are so sad that they will likewise be impacted by this decision.

Stephen Lamphear on behalf of the following 18 residents:

  • Kelsey Vanhee
  • Nancy Kick
  • Stephen Lamphear
  • Kathy Hazen
  • Jennifer Fichamba
  • Vicky Hartley
  • Meg Alley
  • Krystal Marx
  • Anna Ludwig
  • Daniel Martin
  • Natalia Fialkoff
  • James Marx
  • Zoë Bermet
  • David Feinberg
  • Jen Greenstein
  • August Hahn
  • Damon Vanhee
  • Janel Yoko Hershey
  • Molly Davis

NOTE: A rebuttal Letter to the Editor submitted by Burien CARES has been published here.

EDITOR’S NOTEDo you have an opinion you’d like to share with our highly engaged local Readers? If so, please email your Letter to the Editor to scott@southkingmedia.com and, pending review and verification that you’re a real human being, we may publish it. Letter writers must use their full names and cite sources – as well as provide an address and phone number (NOT for publication but for verification purposes).

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.

8 replies on “LETTER: Group of residents have concerns about Burien CARES leasing property where encampment is on SW 152nd”

  1. To everyone who signed this… let them live with you then! 19 people don’t talk for the hundreds who are tired of the homeless around here.

    1. Well said. Maybe concerned private citizens can deliver said camper to the individuals who signed this!?

    2. You’d rather have a place for dogs to defecate than help your fellow human being?

  2. If Burien CARES truly cares about pets and their people, they will not force them from the only shelter and community they have without finding a reasonable alternative for where they can move to.

  3. I fully support the decision made by both the City and C.A.R.E.S. in regards to this property. It certainly will be a welcome and long overdue ideal use of the space and needed in the City core. And to those who think an unsanitary, unsafe and unwelcome campground is better, your misguided. The City is not set up for squatters and they need to except the help offered and move on and out of where they have no business.

  4. Why are all these folks attacking CARES with threats to withdraw their donations? This was and is a city decision. Debra, you were spot on with your response.
    Add up the total amount these folks have actually donated and if they do pull their donations, I would be happy to make up the loss. The leader of this group needs to read your letter carefully. Their threats are totally mis-directed. Let them take their donations directly to the homeless. Very curious of the total funds donated.


  5. The neighborhood needs to be “improved” and adding a place where dogs can poop, but not run, is not a visual improvement to the neighborhood. Maybe a community garden space would offer local residents a place to garden and improve the appearance as well?
    OR a place for a collection of tall wind machines? Something entertaining!

  6. What’s the need for this open letter on btown blog? If they want to pull donations, that’s between them and CARES – why are they publicizing their concerns?

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