City of Burien considers new controversial homeless sweeps strategy

BURIEN, Wash. — The city of Burien could be considering hiring a private company to conduct its homeless sweeps. Over the last couple of months the city has struggled to find a solution to its homeless crises and an encampment has been moved to different locations in the city multiple times.

“I have a lot of concerns,” said Burien City Councilmember Cydney Moore.

She thinks hiring the private company ‘The More We Love’ could be more harmful than helpful.

“I would certainly hesitate to invest public funding of which we have very little into an organization that can’t provide any documentation of their effectiveness,” Moore said.

However, Kristine Moreland, from ‘The More We Love’, said they are effective and are getting results.

“Detox is available, programs are available, housing is available and we just need to make sure they’re connected and it’s just all these barriers, the bureaucracy of it all that doesn’t need to be there,” Moreland said.

Her company was hired by the person who owns the property where Grocery Outlet and Dollar Tree are to remove a homeless encampment.

“That was the third time the encampment had been moved and at that point, the businesses realized that we were going to have to take care of this ourselves,” said a business owner and director of the Burien Business Association, Robyn Desimone. “Outside of the city government and outside of the police department and in under 30 days it worked.”

According to The More We Love’s website, for homeless sweeps, they charge $515 per camper or just over $20,000 for a 40-person sweep. The official agenda for the city council will be released Friday for their meeting on August 21.