As you may recall, the City of Eureka and the County of Humboldt held a joint meeting in late January to discuss their plans to finally deal with Humboldt’s houseless epidemic.
It came as absolutely no surprise to anyone that the City and the County spent a hefty sum on a consulting firm’s report that lacked any real teeth, and as of yet has made ZERO impact on the homeless problem. There is even reason to believe that there will be ZERO future impact as a result of this joint meeting and joint inaction by the County and Eureka.
A member of the McKinleyville Community Watch Facebook group, one Sherry Pavlich, points out a lot of the reasons why that might be the case. Here are two of those reasons, taken from the Facebook page.
a) There is no business plan or budget for implementing such a plan…so no one knows how much this might cost or even an estimate for the 30 individuals
d) With this Rapid Rehousing concept there is not enough DHHS staffing to actual monitor these individuals on what may be a daily basis
(Scroll to the bottom of this post to read Pavlich’s post in full.)
Hmm, sounds like Humboldt County government at its finest! Also mentioned in Ms. Pavlich’s Facebook post is that Eureka and the County paid $80,000 for a useless report that they are apparently making no use of – and likely never seriously intended to. Why do we say that? We think Pavlich put it best when she closed her Facebook exposé with this:
So folks at this point there is no plan….just an $80,000 feasibility study that was based (most likely) on this Rapid Rehousing buzzword so the County could qualify for submission of this $854,000 HUD grant.
We think that this cuts right to heart of our own anger with the all-too casual way in which the County Supervisors and the Eureka City Council accepted the report and took no real action as a result. Sure, there was plenty of hand-shaking and back-slapping and posing for the cameras. But there hasn’t been a damn productive thing to come out of the meeting yet. Reminds us of something…..
According to Pavlich, the public was more than helpful and full of great ideas when DHHS’ Connie Beck made a presentation to a group of roughly 30 people at a recent McKinleyville Advisory Committee meeting. Just imagine – the answers that our governing bodies sought were right here in Humboldt the whole time, and were available for the asking! No $80,000 price tag, either.
THC supposes it’s just par for the course that the County, and all of our so-called leaders in this County, will continue to ignore the sage and freely given advice that is so readily available to them. And they’ll continue wasting our money in the pursuit of doing nothing while they’re at it.
The full post post from the McKinleyville Community Watch Facebook group page:
“I just wanted to report that last night I attended “Housing First” presentation by Connie Beck, the New Director of the County’s DHHS, and her Assistant last night at the McMac Meeting at McKinleyville Middle School. There were about 30 people present. I made our concerns known as far as the increased problem of homeless here in McKinleyville.
I also asked about the impending closing of the Devils Playground Campground and what strategies were being done so that McKinleyville did not become a dumping ground for these individuals living behind the Bay Shore Mall.
I have a copy of their Homeless Stategy and Implementation Plan–Phase I that was done by Focus Stategies, a Sacramento based consulting group. The key strategy in this feasibility study advocated for a “Rapid Rehousing” approach to homelessness…as opposed to operating shelters of some kind.
The key advice that the County paid $80,000 for the feasibility study was to shoot for the goal of 30/60 “to house 30 homeless individuals/families in 60 days.
While the feasibility study is 50 pages long and offers some practical advice on how to streamline services/ and includes some nice Excel spreadsheets on possible funding and an inventory of rental units…it lacks 4 key components: a) There is no business plan or budget for implementing such a plan…so no one knows how much this might cost or even an estimate for the 30 individuals; b) No landlords were polled to see if they would be will participate in such a concept….Not one presentation or survey was sent to the local Board of Realtors or to any property management companies; c) No program such as John Shelter’s New Directions was included to actually get some of these back to work so that they might actually be able to pay rent (the premise only included the CalWorks program which only helps families with children….and only offers first & last and a cleaning deposit and possibly rent subsidies for 4 months maximum)…so i.e. there is nothing in the works for all these homeless single men or women in our community; and d) With this Rapid Rehousing concept there is not enough DHHS staffing to actual monitor these individuals on what may be a daily basis.
The McMac Committee received a lot of input from the audience. I, myself, used to work for many years at a Family Resource Ctr, doing property management, working for RREDC and the County doing both business consulting and grants management, and then later we have owned an operated 2 RV Parks…the first one which included providing services to a very low income populations and having an on-site Social Services worker for a grant that I wrote. So I did give them some ideas on how that concept might work to immediately pull 200 to 400 people off the streets.
The McMac Committee asked DHHS some very astute questions on the costs and feasibility of this plan. As Pat Barsanti put it “we can get behind this concept, but at this point there is no plan”.
So folks at this point there is no plan….just an $80,000 feasibility study that was based (most likely) on this Rapid Rehousing buzzword so the County could qualify for submission of this $854,000 HUD grant.”