Homeless campers on SW 152nd Street & 6th Ave SW in Burien were greeted with signs bearing an ominous May 31, 2023 11:59 p.m. deadline to vacate their encampment, further escalating the already heated debate surrounding the city’s growing homeless issue.

The signs, discovered by both homeless campers and neighbors, were scattered throughout the encampment, and read:

“This property has been leased.

“All persons must be off this property by:

11:59 PM

“Any items, debris, etc. left on site will be disposed of.”

The development comes on the heels of an upcoming special Burien City Council meeting, scheduled for just 19 hours before the sweep deadline, at 7 p.m. Tuesday night, May 30. This meeting aims to address King County’s refusal to provide police assistance in removing the encampment as well as discuss other issues related to it.

On the agenda for that meeting is item on “Whether to move forward with the lease,” which critics find unusual since the lease to Burien CARES has not yet been officially announced.

Signs posted within the last 24 hours or so hint that CARES will likely take over the lease of the city-owned property on Thursday, June 1. One unknown regarding this development is whether the local nonprofit will hire its own workers/security (since police won’t) to remove campers and their belongings, or the city will assist like it did with a Mar. 31 sweep outside Burien City Hall/Library.

The appearance of these signs has sparked outrage and concern among advocates for homeless rights, who see them as a veiled threat and an attempt to force the removal of the encampment without proper consideration of the campers’ needs for housing.

The special council meeting, called in response to King County’s refusal to assist with the encampment’s removal, was intended to provide a platform for councilmembers to discuss potential solutions and hear public comment.

However, the placement of the signs has created a sense of urgency and added an air of uncertainty to this already heightened issue.

Local activist groups have denounced the signs as an aggressive and inhumane tactic. They argue that such actions further marginalize the already vulnerable homeless population and disregard their fundamental rights.

As the special city council meeting approaches, homeless advocates and opponents appear to be planning to attend the session to voice their concerns.

The presence of the signs has not only intensified the discussion surrounding the encampment but has also highlighted the pressing need for comprehensive and compassionate approaches to address the city’s quickly developing homeless crisis.

With tensions running high, the city council meeting on Tuesday night, May 30 will play a pivotal role in shaping the future course of action in Burien.

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5 replies on “Signs warning of removal of encampment with May 31 deadline have been posted at Burien homeless site”

  1. I have been keeping an eye on this for weeks so that I can be there to help my brother move and find an alternative for him. They’ve given 4 days notice for people to figure it out. I now have 4 days to move my schedule around to get there to make sure I know where he ends up so I don’t lose him again for a year and have to start this process all over again. I understand that the citizens of Burien can’t figure out how to coexist with homeless people and your city counsel wants to stop the excessive whining, but that amount of notice is asinine. Most of those people don’t have the same level of help or any place to go, despite the many comments claiming they “refuse help and shelter”. None of you are talking to them, so none of you would actually know. Shame on your community.

  2. What’s the plan? Where do they plan on relocating them to or is there no actual plan as per usual?

  3. Maybe she lives in an apartment or condo that is already at capacity? Nice try to shame her though.

  4. Debra George is involved with both CARES and Discover Burien. How convenient to lease to a city connection–no bias there. Both organizations and City officials should be ashamed at their treatment of those living homeless.

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