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Washington State Activists Raise Money for 36 Burien Families Thrown into Homelessness

Burien Residents Given 3-Day Notices to Vacate When SUHRCO Residential Properties in Bellevue Purchases Building

ox Cove Apartments in Burien. | Image Credit King 5 News

On October 10th, residents of Units 1–6 at the Fox Cove apartment building in Burien were given a 3-Day Notice to Vacate, cutting by more than two weeks the already shortened noticed they were given late last month. The new eviction date for Units 1–6 is now Saturday, October 20, 2018. The property management company expects residents to have the means to save the first month, last month and deposit for a new place to live and pay their October rent as well. Residents in other units in the building received 60 and 90-day notices which expire November 30th and December 31st, respectively.

Many of the Fox Cove residents being evicted are low income and fear they will be pushed into homelessness just as winter is approaching. District 33 Burien City Councilmember Krystal Marx has been supportive of the residents after dozens attended an October 1, 2018, meeting of the Burien City Council seeking relief. Councilmember Marx, and some other members of the City Council have been in discussions with organizations such as Mary’s Place which Councilmember Marx hopes will be able to provide a temporary place for families to stay, eat and receive case management until permanent placement is found. Other Burien residents have been less than kind. Chestine Edgar, the wife of Burien City Councilman Bob Edgar, took screenshots of conversations in the Take Back Burien Facebook page, where residents are trying to organize relief for the soon-to-be-evicted families and emailed them with a letter to the Burien City Council critical of Fox Cove residents and area organizers who are trying to help.

 

October 10, 2018, redacted email from Chestine Edgar to Burien City Council.

At one point during the October 1, 2018, meeting, the Burien City Council discussed providing each resident $3,000 moving expenses, but that offer was rescinded by the end of the night. Residents plan to meet at 5 pm on Monday, October 14th at 5 pm one day before they learn their fate at the October 15th City Council meeting.

In the meantime, organizers have set up a GoFundMe to raise $140,000 ($3,888 per family) for residents. I spoke with Fox Cove resident Jaykayy and asked what else people can do to help. She says evicted residents are in desperate need of:

  • Moving boxes
  • Packing materials
  • Leads on alternative low-rent housing
  • Volunteer movers with trucks
  • Local moving companies willing to offer steep discounts

Fox Cove resident Jaykayy and her husband have four children: three girls ages 9, 7, and 4, and a little boy who is also 4 years old. Jaykayy told me, “People seem to have lost all hope and are just living day by day, so me and my husband are taking phone calls, responding to emails, Facebook messages and organizing community meetings on Sundays to keep everyone updated.” She and her husband have been collecting boxes and packing materials in their apartment and will distribute them to their neighbors in the very near future. Jaykayy’s statement to the City Council reflects the despair many residents of Fox Cove who have recently been homeless are feeling.

This is very devastating, a lot of us can’t afford to move. A lot of us have small children. My girls, Jae’lyn and Janessa are now asking me “why are people so mean to others that don’t have a lot of money?” Now I am having to explain to these two little girls how the REAL WORLD works and it’s breaking my heart. I just want them to worry about being kids! Not worry about if they will have a bed [to] sleep in. A lot of us are barely getting by. My family of 6 and others may end up living on the streets. Winter is slowly but surely approaching. Thanksgiving and Christmas [are] just around the corner. Why choose RIGHT NOW to kick us all out? WHY? My family doesn’t even own a vehicle anymore [to] at least sleep in. It’s only been two years since we were last homeless. When will we catch a break?

For additional details, please check out last week’s reports from KIRO 7 and King 5. You can support the residents of Fox Cove by sharing this article and the GoFundMe.

 

This article was originally posted on Medium.

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Written by Pamela John

Pamela John

Pamela is a Smith College Alum and Cultural Anthropologist. Full time activist for social justice and perpetual volunteer.

Managing Partner, Big Amp Media. Pamela John is a Writer for Progressive Army.

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Washington State Activists Raise Money for 36 Burien Families Thrown into Homelessness