Walk the Streets in Burien

feet on the streetWalk the Streets in Burien
There are homeless, addicts, mentally ill, working poor, prostitutes, drug dealers, criminals, that walk the streets of Burien. Not only walking the streets but occupying the parks, the bus stops, library, etc. There are plenty of people complaining about this. There are people running for political office that are complaining about it. There are some people who would like to make homelessness illegal. There are those who do nothing put throw out stereotypes. There are others who seem to wink at the actual illegal behavior of some people. There are people with sincere hearts that are enablers. There are factions fighting against each other. There are plenty of individuals sharing their opinions about what the city of Burien should or should not do, but doing little themselves.

There are others that wonder what to do about the homeless and the addicts, and the mentally ill. They feel helpless, like there are no answers. They want to help but don’t see anyway they can be part of the solution. They feel ill-equipped, so overall they do nothing.

What Can Be Done?
The following is just one simple thing that can be done. Actually simple to implement but for some it will be very hard to actually do. Some absolutely will not do it. Some will attack the idea. Others will be hesitant. But even if only a few will implement this concept, it can bring positive change in our community. Is it a solution to the problem? Absolutely not! But it can be a piece of the puzzle.

Residents and business people walking the streets of Burien. Getting to know the homeless, addicts, mentally ill, working poor. Listening to their stories. Learning who is serious about changing their life and who is not. Learning who are the leaders in this group of individuals-who has influence, good or bad. Finding out what their ‘real need’s are to help them change for the better. Determining who are the troublemakers. Sharing the concerns that the residents of Burien have regarding some of the behavior of the homeless. Asking them to help ‘police’ those among them. Breaking down walls by giving them hope and encouragement. Building healthy relationships that can be the impetus to get them the help they need. The list goes on and on. So much can happen by walking the streets.

In the midst of doing the above, some things will happen.You will get a heart of compassion for some of the individuals. (Honestly you will also get more irritated with some individuals.) Some of the bad behavior will actually stop-they know you know who they are. They will want to ‘please you’ because you have shown your love towards them. They realize they cannot get away with some behavior-because you can identify them. Some individuals will actually reduce their alcohol and drug use. Some individuals will stop being drug dealers and drug users-they stop dealing drugs even if they continue to use drugs. Some individuals will finally accept the help offered to them. Some will go into treatment. Some ultimately go into sober housing. If you put the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the mix, some amazing things can happen. Individuals start going to church, accept Christ, get water baptized, get plugged into the church, become totally transformed, and start helping others to change. You don’t like the Christian part. That is fine. Nobody is saying you have to be that part of the puzzle. Just don’t let your disdain stop others from doing what they feel led to do. A changed life for the positive is a changed life for the positive. You can put feet on the street regardless of your religion or non-religion.

The Negatives
Will there be negatives? Yes, some will be belligerent and hateful.  (No different than those who are suppose to be ‘healthy’ that manifest the same behavior.) Yes, some will become more hardened because they do not want to change. You cannot focus on the negative, need to focus on the positive-some lives will change.

I walked the streets of Capitol Hill everyday for over five years. Did it with and without people. Always more fruitful with people. Over the years we saw some positive changes. As busy as I am, as much as I would like to do other things, I know I am being called to put Feet on the Street. Are you willing to put your two feet on the street? Are you willing to be one piece of the puzzle?

Are you willing but scared of, hesitant about, have a disdain for the Christian part? That is fine. I am more than capable of adapting where people are at in their spiritual walk. Honestly I’d rather walk the street with a compassionate atheist than a judgmental, holier than thou Christian. (BTW, most of the time I do not even bring up the topic of God when talking with the homeless, they end bringing it up.)

Stupid Idea
You think this is a stupid idea? You have a better idea? Share it on this blog. The more ideas the better. Let’s all do something to help change lives and make Burien a better place for all.

If you are interested in putting Feet on the Street, give me a call 24/7, Pastor Rich: 206-396-1995.

P.S. Some of the positive testimonies I share is because of walking the streets-putting feet on the street.

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