I have been a school psychologist for many years. I served numerous students in need, not all of them living in homeless conditions but many living in poverty. I have designed programs and services for those in the educational system. I hope to bring my passion for the underserved to the cause for the homeless in Burien.

My Concerns Regarding Homeless:
Many of these are my beliefs, but I acknowledge I may be wrong.

  1. They are disparaged by many.
  2. They have feelings of low self worth.
  3. Many are children.
  4. They have unidentified needs.
  5. They may not know how to access service.
  6. Not all homeless are heroin addicts.
  7. Some homeless are young adults who have been kicked out of their homes by parents and who are ill prepared for self reliance.
  8. There is a shortage of treatment centers.

What I Believe are Some Solutions:

1. Support groups with mentors.
2. Access to showers, meals.
3. Some productive activities to build skills.
4. Education for public about what services are available.
5. Allocation of services for different groups of homeless depending on their needs such as the matrix presented by the city of Albuquerque.

Humanize the homeless
In an effort to decrease the lack of regard for the homeless, I would like to launch an effort to humanize the clients. Let people know they have names. Let the clients know they have value. Possibly tell their stories on the Burien Blog. “Meet Bob…”

  • Can we meet with them after lunch and talk with them to start to explore their talents and skills.
  • They weren’t always homeless. What did they do before? Can we revive any of that?
  • What can they do to become a positive part of the community? How can we approach the situation by building on their skills rather than the negative?
  • Do we or can we offer activities during the day. I bet some have talent that they haven’t explored in a long time either because they don’t have access or don’t have the energy. If they could participate in DIY projects with volunteers, they might be able to create products that can be sold at bazaars and farmers market by transform Burien volunteers. I’m thinking someone might be able to knit, paint, sculpt, sing.
  • Identify needs as they see them rather than how they impact the community. Post list of wanted/needed donations in Burien Blog. Coats? Sweaters? Socks? Hygiene? Towels? Toothbrushes?