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BACKGROUND

  • Burien has an emergency Severe Weather shelter, but has no permanent emergency shelter available. The Burien Severe Weather Shelter served over 140 individuals over 36 nights in the winter of 2022-2023.

  • In King County, at least 40,871 individuals experienced homelessness at some time in 2020, increasing to at least 53,000 in 2022.

  • According to the King County Medical Examiner's Office, 7 people died while unhoused in Burien in 2022, a record setting number. In 2020 and 2021, only one unhoused individual died each year. This is a disproportionately high rate of deaths compared to King County’s homeless population, with unhoused in Burien dying at a rate approximately 8 times more than in King County.

  • In 2022, 310 people died while homeless in King County, also setting a record.

  • Communities who are already marginalized, including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), LGBTQ+ people, families with children, and youth face disproportionate rates of homelessness.

  • The Journal of the American Medical Association has found that involuntary sweeps of people experiencing homelessness results in increases of overdoses, serious infections, and mortality rates.

  • King County estimates that it was short 14,000 units of affordable housing in 2017. This has risen to over 18,000 in 2023.

  • There is a 96 percent statistical correlation between the region’s rent increases and the increase in homelessness. Simply put, homelessness is an affordable housing problem.

https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/examiner/services/reports-data/homeless.aspx

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2803839

https://kcrha.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/PIT-2022-Infograph-v7.pdf 

https://kcrha.org/wpcontent/uploads/2023/05/KCRHA_5YP_Exec_Summary_051223.pdf; https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/why-does-prosperous-king-county-have-a-homelessness-crisiscouncil-meeting/ 

https://seattlemag.com/news/homelessness-not-choice-state-crisis-seattle-and-king-county/

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