In a documentation of the plight faced by both homeless campers and neighbors in Downtown Burien, a time-lapse video shot on Thursday, June 1, 2023 captures the ebb and flow of a sweep of the camp that was situated at SW 152nd and 6th Ave SW in Burien.

Spanning a 12-hour period – from around 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. – the video chronicles the sweep, supervised by Debra George of new lot lessee Burien CARES – to reclaim the property which will soon be fenced and turned into a Dog Park.

Where once 25-40 homeless people lived in 30 or so tents, as of 7 p.m. Thursday night, June 1, 2023, all that was left was a final collection of debris and belongings with a makeshift fence surrounding it, which was removed Friday morning, June 2.

As of around Noon on Friday, all that was left were some volunteer decomposer crows pecking at the dried, empty grass.

The time lapse, filmed and edited from a deck at a Burien Town Square condo by Founder/Publisher Scott Schaefer, offers a unique perspective on the evolution of the sweep. Throughout the footage, you can witness the slow removal of homeless campers and their belongings from the lot, located next to Town Square Dentistry and across the street from the Burien Town Square condos (total running time: 57 seconds):

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The time lapse also serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by local authorities and social service organizations, since none of the campers were actually relocated. It highlights the inadequacies of Burien and King County’s current support system and the urgent need for comprehensive, long-term solutions to combat homelessness and drug addiction.

The encampment’s growth and fluctuation since moving to this spot from Burien City Hall/Library on Mar. 31 underscores the complex web of issues, including the lack of affordable housing, mental health services, drug abuse, wages, the job market and more.

Encampment Moves to Dottie Harper Park

At least nine tents from Burien’s homeless population have set up a new encampment on the east side of Dottie Harper Park, around 50-75 or so feet from a playground.

The next Burien City Council meeting is set for Monday night, June 5, 2023 at 7 p.m. While the homeless issue is not officially on the agenda, It’s possible that City Manager Adolfo Bailon will address the topic in his City Manager’s Report.

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2 replies on “VIDEO: Watch our time-lapse chronicle of Thursday’s sweep of Burien homeless encampment”

  1. Now they’ve got shade & playground equipment for entertainment. Nice work! Don’t forget to tax homeowners.

  2. Dottie Harper park is an urban treasure. If the drug encampment is allowed to remain, there will be a definite fire risk. This situation is totally unacceptable.

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