Minutes 3/7/17

The following is a summary of the first introductory meeting that took place on 3/7/17. (Agenda)
There were 11 attendees. We had individuals who volunteer with Transform Burien, Highline Food Bank, Hospitality House, and Fairhaven House. Some of the attendees were residents who spent most of their life in Burien. We had a social worker attend, business owner, pastor, and retired individuals.

It was understood by all that other than learning about each other, discussing concerns, and sharing some ideas about solutions, that much could not be accomplished in a first time meeting. But it was a start.

Richard Dover gave an introduction of himself (Here is a bio on Richard) and summarized the main objectives of the meeting:

  • Give individuals an opportunity to share their concerns and recommendations regarding the homeless problem.
  • End the meeting with some individuals committed to devoting time and energy to help resolve the homeless problem.

Richard Dover talked about the anger and frustration that many are feeling about the Burien homeless problem. He addressed the stereotypes regarding grouping all homeless together as addicts, criminals, not want to change, etc. He emphasized that the “my solution is the only solution mindset is not helpful. He challenged the unwillingness of the community to work together-the ‘venom’ some express towards those they disagree with on this issue. No quick fixes.

Richard emphasized his belief that there must be mutual respect between the homeless and the community-requires work, effort, commitment.

Each participant took two minutes to introduce themselves and shared what brought them to the meeting:

  • Several participants stated they were concerned for the safety of their children or grandchildren.
  • Concern about the excessive garbage caused by the homeless.
  • Concern about government agencies not working together in unity to solve the homeless problem.
  • Concerned that money is not being spent wisely.
  • All of the long-term residents of Burien were concerned about the changes taking place in the city because of increase in homeless people and increase in crime.
  • Some stated they want their city back.
  • Concern that there is not a whole-person approach in regards to helping the homeless.
  • Concern that the breakdown of the family structure is causing homelessness.
  • The lack of individuals working with the homeless in regards to case management.

Each participant took two minutes to share suggestions on how to deal with the homeless problem:

  • Get all the agencies involved with homelessness to start collaborating with each other
  • Gather garbage
  • Find ways to help keep families intact
  • Not just pass by the homeless, show them dignity
  • Safer, secure environment in the community where homeless can stay
  • Explore what are the factors and causes of homelessness and learn more of who the homeless are
  • Develop a strong case management system to help the homeless
  • More involvement of the community regarding homelessness

Some topics for future meetings:

  • Factors that contribute to homelessness
  • General causes of homelessness
  • Existing resources for the homeless
  • Problem of the community by having homelessness
  • Possible solutions and hot to measure success
  • Implementation of top solutions.

Richard Dover challenged participants to ask themselves if they are willing to commit time and energy to be part of the solution to the homeless situation. He then challenged them to ask themselves what steps they will take to reach out to the homeless and to help resolve homelessness.

Participants filled out a survey regarding Homelessness.

What is the Next Step? Click Here




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