Minutes 3/9/17

The following is a summary of the second introductory meeting that took place on 3/9/17. (Agenda)

There was a total of 5 attendees, 3 attended the first introductory meeting.

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 a more in-depth introduction of himself and his involvement with the homeless and those with addictions since he realized based from comments after the first meeting he had not shared about his involvement with sober living houses (Fairhaven House). Here is a bio on Richard.

Richard 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.
    Each participant shared something about themselves. We had a retired fireman/medic supervisor and volunteer with Transform Burien, a board member of Hospitality House, an ex-business owner and maintenance volunteer for Hospitality House, a local Burien resident originally from England.

Each participant shared what brought them to the meeting:

  • Concern about the increase of the homeless problem in Burien. Especially concern that the greenbelt along Hwy 509 is starting to become a homeless camp.
  • Concern about safety for their children when going to the store and to parks.
  • Concern that assistance given to the homeless is not being done efficiently or is ultimately not beneficial.
  • Concerned that there is not an effective measuring stick to determine if homelessness programs are effective.
  • Wanting to learn more about the homelessness situation and what is being done about it.
  • Wanting to learn about how to prevent homelessness-the factors and causes of homelessness.

Each participant shared suggestions on how to deal with the homeless situation:

  • It was suggested that a drop-in center in Burien for the homeless could be very helpful. A place where they can be some place instead of hanging in the streets. Get cleaned up, watch a movie, etc.
  • There should be more emphasis of addressing the cause of homelessness. Addressing the fact that more and more there is becoming a shortage of affordable housing.
  • There was discussion about citizens being more willing to being part of the solution. Even consider the possibility of housing a homeless person under strict guidelines.
  • Government spending more money was not seen as the best solution if there is no accountability, if there is no evaluation of the effectiveness of the program. It was acknowledged that government employees are put into the situation of having to justify what they are doing so they do not lose funding and because of the fear of losing funding, they are not sincere evaluations.
  • There were comments about there needs to be more openness at looking at the spiritual aspect involved in homelessness and as one of the solutions.

Richard emphasized the importance of taking time to interact with the homeless. It is harder for the criminal element to commit crimes if they know you know who they are. Also interacting with them recognizes they have value.

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.

At the end of the meeting Richard challenged the participants to ask them themselves how involved  do they want to become involved to help lessen homelessness, and ask themselves what can they personally do to be part of the solution.

Participants filled out a survey regarding Homelessness.

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