On June 22, over three dozen Burien business leaders, city council members, staff, police, and nonprofits gathered to address homelessness and public safety. Robyn Desimone, Executive Director of the Burien Business Association, opened the meeting, followed by a WR presentation on public safety and crimes affecting retailers in the city and across the state.
Kristine Moreland, Director of The More We Love Organization, told the attendees about the successes her team and other volunteers experienced in helping the area’s unhoused. Moreland’s stories of intervention and her organization’s individualized approach to moving tent campers from their brokenness and onto paths of restoration were moving and hopeful.
Moreland’s advice to the community on solving the growing issues with the unhoused was clear: Providing the unhoused with a place to live should only be followed by detox, recovery, and addressing physical and mental health, diet, exercise, and vocational training so they can return to being a productive member of society.
“We cannot overlook the connection between substance use disorders and ties to individuals being preyed upon by organized retail crime rings,” said Mark Johnson, WR VP of Policy and Government Affairs. “Addressing these issues among the vulnerable unhoused is necessary to solve this complex crisis.”