Homelessness

Friday, October 16, 2020

The Yurok Tribe Receives $2.2 million Grant for Homelessness

Posted By on Fri, Oct 16, 2020 at 4:44 PM

yurok_tribe.jpg
The Yurok Tribe received a $2.2 million grant from California's Homekey Program to address homelessness, the same grant St. Joseph Health received for its Providence Eureka housing project.

According to a release, the Yurok Indian Housing Authority will purchase a motel in Eureka for permanent housing for 30 people who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness and affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At least 25 percent of units will be reserved for Native Americans and will provide housing no later than mid-December.

"Native Americans in Humboldt County represent the highest group/race of unsheltered persons in Humboldt County, and also face increased risk of COVID-19 complications," the release states.

The Homekey Program is California's $600 million effort to purchase and rehabilitate housing — including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other properties — and convert them into permanent, long-term housing for people who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing homelessness, who are at high risk for serious illness, and are impacted by COVID-19.

Read the full release below.

Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced $30.7 million in the fifth round of Homekey awards — California’s nation-leading $600 million program to purchase and rehabilitate housing – including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other properties – and convert them into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, who are at high risk for serious illness, and are impacted by COVID-19. (View press release)

The Yurok Tribe in Humboldt County receives $2.2 million in Homekey awards

The Yurok Indian Housing Authority will purchase a motel in Eureka for use as permanent housing for 30 people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Native Americans in Humboldt County represent the highest group/race of unsheltered persons in Humboldt County, and also face increased risk of COVID-19 complications. At least 25 percent of units will be reserved for Native Americans and will provide permanent housing no later than mid-December.
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Monday, September 28, 2020

Providence Eureka House Receives $4.3 million for Homeless Housing

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2020 at 5:32 PM

Visual design for the Providence Eureka House - ST. JOSEPH HEALTH
  • St. Joseph Health
  • Visual design for the Providence Eureka House
Gov. Gavin Newsom has allocated $137 million in Homekey Awards, $4.3 million of which will go to Humboldt County, states an email sent by a spokesperson for the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

Homekey is California's $600 million program to purchase and rehabilitate housing – including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other properties – and convert them into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, who are at high risk for serious illness and are impacted by COVID-19.

According to the state announcement, the funding will go to the Providence Eureka house, led by St. Joseph's Hospital, and aid in converting the Humboldt Inn on Fourth street into permanent homes and housing for people exiting hospitals who still need medical care.

The Providence Eureka House will allow 42 units to serve as permanent supportive housing, and 6 units to provide recuperative care services to
people experiencing homelessness who are exiting hospitals but still needing medical care. Providence Eureka House is a 48-unit permanent supportive housing motel conversion.

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Friday, September 18, 2020

St. Joe's Health to Offer Housing for Homeless Residents

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2020 at 11:13 AM

Visual design for the Providence Eureka House - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Visual design for the Providence Eureka House
St. Joseph's Health will house Humboldt County residents who are experiencing homelessness at the Providence Eureka House.

“We know that the first step towards improved health for those facing housing insecurity is a safe place to sleep,” said Roberta Luskin-Hawk, M.D., Chief Executive, St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County. “Providence St. Joseph Health is privileged to be in a position to extend our healing mission to our community and provide the necessary resources to ensure those most at risk have access to the resources they need to lead a healthier life.”

The Providence Eureka House will sit on the current site of the Humboldt Inn on Fourth Street and will include 49 "independent dwelling units" that will house and provide resources to homeless individuals.

"Studies show that secure housing is critical to a community member’s overall health," the release states.

The project is possible through the “Housing is Health” initiative which represents Providence’s commitment to investing in the best practices of community partners, like Providence Supportive Housing and St. Joe's Health-Humboldt County CARE Network (leader of supportive services), who work on temporary and permanent housing in the communities they serve.

The county will be able to refer eligible homeless participants to the housing project from it's coordinated entry system. 

Read more about the project in the full press release below. 


Providence Eureka House: Transforming Lives and 101 Corridor

New Supportive Housing Project in Eureka will Enrich the Lives of Homeless
and Downtown Neighborhood

Eureka, CA (September 18, 2020) – As part of its continued commitment to community members, St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County (SJH-HC) is excited to announce plans for a new supportive housing project that will serve homeless and chronically homeless individuals in Eureka.

Providence Eureka House will be developed on the current site of the Humboldt Inn, a commercial motel on 4th St. in Eureka. Plans include converting the existing 44-room facility into 49 independent dwelling units that will house and provide resources to homeless individuals. Studies show that secure housing is critical to community member’s overall health. St. Joseph Health’s decision to support the project aligns with their mission of serving all, especially those who are poor or vulnerable.

“We know that the first step towards improved health for those facing housing insecurity is a safe place to sleep,” said Roberta Luskin-Hawk, M.D., Chief Executive, St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County. “Providence St. Joseph Health is privileged to be in a position to extend our healing mission to our community and provide the necessary resources to ensure those most at risk have access to the resources they need to lead a healthier life.”

The project is the result of the “Housing is Health” initiative which represents Providence’s commitment to investing in the best practices of community partners who work on temporary and permanent housing in the communities they serve. Other partners include Providence Supportive Housing (property manager), and the SJH-HC CARE Network (leader of supportive services). Humboldt County will act as an additional partner by referring eligible homeless participants to the project as units become available from its coordinated entry system.

As part of the project, Providence Supportive Housing will begin development of a minimum of 100 affordable housing units to celebrate the centennial of the founding of St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka in 1920.

“Reducing homelessness is about partnerships,” said Tim Zaricznyj, Executive Director, Providence Supportive Housing. “To make a lasting impact, non-profits, for-profits, governments, agencies, and health systems need to work together. Providence is privileged to work with amazing likeminded organizations in Humboldt County that are dedicated to giving highly vulnerable people a fresh start.”

The health system is making a $3.5M investment which is being supplemented by a grant from the Homekey program and is working to obtain additional grant funding. The Homekey grant program is the state’s response to protecting Californians experiencing homelessness who are a high risk for serious illness and are impacted by COVID-19.

A new 6,400 sq. ft. two-story wing will be added to the existing property to add common areas that will include: community rooms, service consultation rooms, security and management office spaces, storage areas, and a kitchen.

The site redesign aims to create a sense of place and community that is both secure and welcoming for residents, neighboring businesses, property owners, and visitors to Eureka. New and existing buildings will be woven together with a wood trellis, fence and screens that will provide privacy, security, warmth and visual continuity on all street frontages.


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Friday, June 19, 2020

Arcata’s 7 FEMA Trailers Still Unused

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2020 at 9:39 AM

When news broke that Gov. Gavin Newsom was providing seven trailers to the city of Arcata as part of a statewide program to shelter vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was a win for the city. Most of the project's 1,309 trailers were headed for larger municipalities, but Arcata had presented a strong case for its population's need, and certainly every resource helps.

Seven of the 1,309 trailers procured by the state as part of its COVID-19 emergency response were dropped off in Arcata. None have been used. - HUMCO COVID FACEBOOK PAGE
  • HumCo Covid Facebook page
  • Seven of the 1,309 trailers procured by the state as part of its COVID-19 emergency response were dropped off in Arcata. None have been used.

The state had purchased the trailers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and delivered them to Arcata in early May. According to news reports, the city expected to move the trailers to more permanent locations within a few weeks, and was working with the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services and Arcata House Partnership to select occupants.

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Betty Chinn's Homeless Foundation Receives Grant to Care for Pets

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 1:02 PM

Betty Chinn - FILE
  • File
  • Betty Chinn
The Betty Kwan Chinn Homeless Foundation announced today that it has received a $200,000 grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development, Pet Assistance and Support Program to help house, feed and provide basic veterinary service to the pets of its clients.

Chinn, who spent much of her childhood living alone in a garbage dump during Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution after her mother was jailed and her siblings sent off to labor camps due to her parents' wealth and Christian beliefs, has operated one of the few West Coast shelters to allow animals.

“Betty has long recognized the importance that some homeless individuals attach to their companion animals,” the release states. “Dogs provide emotional support, companionship, warmth and security to people living in the street. However, they also present a significant barrier to services because many shelters do not allow dogs, and this prevents some of the chronically homeless from accessing case management services geared toward regaining their self-sufficiency.”

Read the full release from the foundation below:

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Update: Eureka City Council Approved Allowing Betty Chinn to Open Temporary Homeless Shelter for Women and Families

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 1:09 PM

The Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center for the homeless. - FILE
  • File
  • The Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center for the homeless.

Update: The Eureka City Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday to add a retail building across the street from the Betty Kwan Chinn day center to its 2016 Shelter Crisis Declaration, paving the way for its conversion into a temporary shelter for women and families.

 

Before the shelter opens, the Betty Chinn Foundation must add another restroom and shower to the building. The foundation also has to change the entrance of the building to its C Street side, directly across the street from the foundation’s existing day center so as not to disturb other businesses on Seventh Street. 

 

Chinn says she has to talk to her partners about funding before starting the renovations, adding that as of right now she doesn’t have enough money to proceed with the renovations.  

 

Chinn and the city of Eureka are hoping the shelter opens next month, so families who impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can have a safe place to stay.  

 

Those in need of shelter can contact the Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center at 407-3833.  

 

To make a donation to the Betty Kwan Chinn Foundation, visit the website here to donate online or mail a check to Betty Chinn’s Homeless Fund, P.O. Box 736, Eureka, CA 95502.  



Previous: The Eureka City Council will consider adopting a resolution tomorrow that would expand the Shelter Crisis Declaration it enacted in 2016 to allow Betty Chinn to establish a temporary women and families shelter across the street from her day center at 205 Seventh St.


The retail building would be converted into a shelter to allow for “20 people in one bedroom assignments,” according to the staff report, and will be operated by the Betty Kwan Chinn Foundation.


Betty Chinn told the Journal that there are quite a few people who have come to her center looking for shelter as they have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and have nowhere else to go. The new building, she said, would allow them to help people needing a place to stay.


“During this time, people need a safe place to stay, a safe place to be quarantined,” Chinn says. “I want to protect people as best as I can.”


Chinn says that her shelters take serious precautions when it comes to taking in new clients. She says that new residents for her shelters are quarantined for 14 days before they are able to roam the grounds freely, and that she also takes resident’s and staff’s temperature twice daily. If the new shelter is approved, she says she will be taking the same precautions there.


Clients would be able to stay in the shelter as long as they need to get back on their feet, she adds.


“The goal is for them to find permanent housing,” Chinn says. “So they will be able to stay for as long as they need to, to save money and learn to budget themselves for permanent housing.”


If approved by the council, the building will be converted “as soon as possible,” Chinn says adding that she hopes to open the shelter by May 1.


“[The building] is across the street from the day center so it will be easy,” she says. “If it doesn’t, I have to find a new building and new partners. I just hope this goes through.”


The Eureka City Council is also looking to adopt a COVID-19 Assistance Fund Grant Program that will allocate $50,000 in grants to Homeless Service Providers and $200,000 to support mortgage and rent assistance to households who are at 80 percent of area median income (those below 50 percent will be prioritized, the staff report states).


The Eureka City Council meeting will be held April 21, 2020, at 6 p.m. For more agenda items or to watch the virtual meeting remotely, visit the city website here.


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Monday, April 6, 2020

Eureka Mayor Talks Efforts to Protect Homeless Residents (VIDEO)

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 8:14 PM

Susan Seaman - CITY OF EUREKA
  • city of eureka
  • Susan Seaman
Eureka Mayor Susan Seaman has released a public service announcement updating the community on the city's efforts to care for its homeless residents amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Humboldt County. In it, she announces a number of new services and protocols, and says the Eureka Police Department recently gave 500 N95 masks, which are in tremendously short supply and high demand nationwide, to the Department of Health and Human Services for social workers aiding the local homeless population.

"By doing this, we are supporting our partners by protecting the health of their professionals working on the front lines with our homeless community and CSET team," Seaman said.

Watch the video or read a full transcript of Seaman's remarks copied below.


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Sunday, December 22, 2019

Arcata House to Provide Hot Meals, Needs Some Help to Do So

Posted By on Sun, Dec 22, 2019 at 3:56 PM

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The Arcata House Partnership will be hosting meal events during Christmas week to help folks in need of a hot meal during the holiday season.

Meals will be available from noon to 3 p.m. at the nonprofit’s Ninth Street annex Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

In addition to lending a helping hand, the partnership is asking those with means to aid the effort by volunteering to cook or clean up, or by donating to the cause (cider and cinnamon sticks are a special request) or by giving clothes, blankets and socks.

To contact AHP about volunteering and/or donating, call 298-7610 or email volunteer@arcatahouse.org.

Read the release from the Arcata House Partnership:
We will be serving out of the back of our 9th Street annex, from 12 to 3 p.m. on Monday (12/23), Tuesday(12/24), Thursday (12/26) and Friday (12/27).

Volunteers for cooking and cleanup would be greatly appreciated. Donations of cider and sweets (esp. cinnamon sticks) are also welcome.

In addition, clients are in need of blankets and socks for the holiday season so AHP will gladly receive clothing contributions as well.

To contact AHP about volunteering and/or donating, call (707) 298-7610 or email volunteer@arcatahouse.org.

The Christmas week menu will include:

Monday, 12/23: Chili w/cornbread and chips
Tuesday, 12/24: Shepherd's Pie w/cranberries
Thursday, 12/26: Black beans and coconut rice
Friday, 12/27: Pasta w/meat sauce

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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Grand Jury: No 'Silver Bullet' to Solving Homeless, Offers Strategies

Posted By on Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 4:48 PM

With an overwhelming rate of homelessness in Humboldt County, the civil grand jury released a report recommending four key strategies. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • With an overwhelming rate of homelessness in Humboldt County, the civil grand jury released a report recommending four key strategies.

The Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury, a board of citizens impaneled for a year to look into governmental issues, released a report today making recommendations on how to address the region’s overwhelmingly high homeless rate.

The 38-page report looks back at the recommendations from the consulting group Focus Strategies that led the city of Eureka and the county of Humboldt to adopt resolutions supporting a Housing First approach to addressing homelessness in 2016.

The report states that it will take years for the affordable housing stock to catch up with the current demand and, in the interim, “our current and future unsheltered homeless will need somewhere legal to stay, both day and night.”

“While creating more usable shelter is necessary, speeding up the rate at which affordable housing is generated will go a long way to address our homeless crisis,” the summary states. “Local jurisdictions working on their Housing Elements are including creative and forward-thinking solutions to encourage production of affordable housing. Local government should incentivize implementing these solutions.”

While noting in a press release that there is no “silver bullet that will eradicate homelessness in Humboldt County,” the grand jury puts forward 10 recommendations that “if implemented, could significantly improve the quality of life for many of the County’s residents—both homeless and housed—while the affordable housing crisis persists.”

These recommendations include that the county board of supervisors revise the housing element to provide for shelter solutions and affordable housing, work to reduce barriers at existing shelters (like accommodating partners and significant others, providing space to store personal property) and find an ongoing funding source for the Housing Trust Fund. Additionally, the grand jury recommends expanding the role of the county’s Homeless Solutions Committee to include both looking at shelter projects and affordable housing, that the city and county work together to find suitable locations for both a homeless day center and a supervised safe parking program, that the county and city resume monthly meetings on shared issues related to homelessness and that they both work to develop plans to provide financial incentives for homeowners to build accessory dwelling units to house very-low income residents on their properties.

Read the full report here.

Editor's note: This story was updated from a previous version to clarify that a quote included came from a Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury press release, not the full report, and to include more information about the grand jury's recommendations.
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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Town Hall Focuses on Need for Transitional Housing

Posted By on Sun, May 19, 2019 at 2:33 PM

Reverend Daniel London opens the Town Hall event at the Christ Episcopal Church with an acknowledgment of Jesus Christ and his alignment with homeless struggles. - FREDDY BREWSTER
  • Freddy Brewster
  • Reverend Daniel London opens the Town Hall event at the Christ Episcopal Church with an acknowledgment of Jesus Christ and his alignment with homeless struggles.
Gathered in the Christ Episcopal Church on a windy and wet Saturday afternoon, nearly 40 people talked about homelessness and the need for transitional housing in Humboldt County.

Under the stained-glass windows and vaulted ceiling of the nearly 150-year-old church, Reverend Daniel London and his wife Ashley London Bacchi helped facilitate conversations with a panel that included Betty Chinn, Eureka Police Department Sgt. Leonard La France, Eureka City Councilmember Kim Bergel and others who are on the front lines of addressing the area's homeless people and their impacts. The event was put on by True North Organizing Network, a faith-based nonprofit that focuses on community issues and providing every person with “the opportunity to be heard and respected.”

“We are really excited to hear stories in our community about this issue and to bring a face to housing needs,” said Eve Robinson, a facilitator and leader with True North. “If we could change even one mind about housing in our area, then that was our goal.”

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