Aug 8, 2016

Campaign launched at City Hall to "removing barriers to housing"

Today in the lobby of Eureka City Hall, elected officials, City and County staff, activists gathered to launch the 30-60 Housing First Campaign.

Eureka City Manager Mr. Greg Sparks and I spoke before his prepared remarks.  I asked him if landlords would participate in helping in this effort.

Mr. Sparks said that outreach to the landlords is a part of the program. "With a 3% vacancy rate, there is not a great deal of housing but it is not as tight as Marin County."

"Maybe because of past experiences, landlords may not want to rent. We have an indemnification fund to help with any losses."

I asked Mr. Sparks where the funds would come from. He indicated some from the City's housing successor funds, some from DHHS, some from MIST which received Measure Z funding and raising additional funds from the community.

In his prepared remarks, Mr. Sparks said, "Homelessness impacts the community, even those who are not homeless."

"This is a campaign about housing first," said Mr. Sparks. "Each person receives assistance to receive permanent housing without pre-conditions."

He recognized Supervisor Virginia Bass, Eureka Councilmembers Melinda Ciarabellini and Linda Atkins, in particular.


"I am so excited to stand here with our partners," said Supervisor Virginia Bass. She mentioned collaboration between City, County, Housing organizations.

She singled out Supervisor Rex Bohn, who said he did not want to be recognized, then Supervisor Bass kidded, how "he is the quiet one." Which is true, he does a lot in his spare time, that does not make the headlines.

For lunchtime, a good crowd, about 60 people.

Councilmember Melinda Ciarabellini said that when she worked at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility, there were "not a lot of resources to help people with multiple issues"; then funding got cut. So, stressed the importance of this collaboration.

KIEM, Times Standard, North Coast Journal and myself were at the launch.

The first photo is a welcome box with essentials, suggested by local resident, Minnie Wolf, an effort coirdinated by Erin Powers-Taylor. Contact her at (707) 443-5187 if you want to help with this effort. Contents based on needs indicated by people. This will be given to anyone who helps house people, including Betty Chinn, not just those Housing First helps.

Priority for housing will be given to those "chronically homeless first",
said Sally Hewitt.

Rapid rehousing funds will roll out a Countywide program later.
















Aug 3, 2016


City of Eureka-Humboldt County launches campaign to house 30 homeless in 60 days






The City of Eureka and County of Humboldt are launching a campaign that’s goal is to house 30 homeless people in 60 days.
“We’ve been working on this for quite a few months,” said Eureka City Manager Greg Sparks. “We’re very excited to continue to partner with the county to help reduce the barriers for people who need housing.”


The 30-60 Housing First Campaign comes from a recommendation by Sacramento-based consulting firm Focus Strategies which specializes in helping communities develop a systems approach to end homelessness. The city and county commissioned the firm to assist in coming up with a plan for the Eureka area.
In March, the Eureka City Council and Humboldt County Board of Supervisors passed a joint resolution to collaborate on reducing homelessness and adopting a Housing First model.
Housing First is an approach to homeless assistance that prioritizes rapid placement and stabilization in permanent housing and does not have service participation requirements or preconditions such as sobriety or a minimum income threshold.
“Without a safe and clean place to live, it’s difficult for people to address barriers like substance abuse and mental health issues or to pursue employment,” said Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services Director Connie Beck. “Housing First is rooted in the belief that having a permanent place to live is a precondition for recovery.”
The event will take place on Monday, Aug. 8, from noon to 1 p.m. at Eureka City Hall, 531 K St. in Eureka. Refreshments will be provided.

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