[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, submitted by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of South King Media, nor its staff:]
Many of the problems surrounding the Burien Tent City and other homeless have been well documented; potential solutions, not so much. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs may be a helpful framework toward what a solution might look like. Needs are described in the following five categories, starting at the bottom with physiological.
- Love and belonging
- Safety (security, employment, resources, …)
- Physiological (air, water, food, shelter, …)
Underlying these needs are considerations such as affordability, geography or location, individual motivation to change, timing, among others. Given that the City of Burien as well as King County have limited budgets and resources, a subset of these basic needs might look like a safe location outside of the central core of Burien with shelter, sanitation facilities, available clean water and food, some sort of education and training, and available medical detoxification. Certainly, other options are possible.
The sooner problems are addressed / solved, the less it costs. On the flip side, costs typically increase when problems continue or worsen.
Compassion is needed for all parties, not just the homeless. Compassion is also needed for community residents, businesses, police officers, and government officials who spend time, money, and effort on the problem.
– David Gould
EDITOR’S NOTE: Do 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 [email protected] 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 Letter writers must use their full names and cite sources – as well as provide an address and phone number (NOT for publication but for verification purposes).