Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Arkley's Home Poor Meeting. What was that?

So I went to Rob Arkley’s impromptu meeting regarding the home poor and was surprised at what a huge gathering it was. Biggest at the Wharfinger since…..the gala for the Marina Center a few years back. (No I didn’t attend that one, but I drove by out of curiosity) It was standing room only and some were left outside because of Fire Marshal rules. Rob gave a quick introduction and said he wanted to fix the root problems leading to homelessness and create a process for a solution.  He talked of Betty Chinn and Humboldt County Human Service Department and pointed out that ½ the budget and ½ of the workers of the County were part of Human Services Department.  He wants to form a committee to identify what programs are bringing people to Humboldt County and try to find solutions and hold the Board of Supervisors and Eureka City Council members responsible for answers to the issues. Then he passed the meeting on to his secretary Shirley. And she was overwhelmed and had no format to deal with the hour Rob had earmarked for the public to speak and go home to have dinner.

A first speaker came up to speak for the homeless and was not well received and didn’t make much sense.
The next speaker was handpicked, Rocky from the auto shop on 3rd next to the COOP. Said he has had the shop for years near soup kitchen but the last few years he had direct conflicts from transients every day and had witnessed assaults and dog killings. He said these people chose this lifestyle.  He has to pick up garbage every day and has noticed a drop off in female customers. He said he has had no problems with the Rescue Mission right next door to his shop.
Sylvia DeeRoy said that Arkley presented a false premise. Pointed out to Human Services cuts from the 1980’s. Said poverty was the main problem and the lack of affordable housing an issue. She also pointed out addiction and mental health as problems.
Mike Jones had a story of his youth and his experience of delivering papers in the neighborhood. He told of his shock over the recent cross bow murder. He talked about taking the ferry to Samoa to play on the beach and reminisced of a time where you could feel safe and not worry.
A lady named Sheri spoke of her 3 years in the soup line while homeless and her taking advantage of programs to now being on the cusp of graduating from HSU.
Jill McDonald spoke of her 23 years of experience working with old town and Main Street. She is concerned so much of the transients that she and her family have considered moving.
Joel, who identified himself as a Eureka Senior Counselor for addicts, said these people in the streets are human beings that needed to be held accountable for their actions.
One lady came to mic to talk about the Indian Massacre and to point out the intolerance of Humboldt County when they drove out the Chinese.
Another old town business owner (Bev Wolfe?) said she had 17 years of great business, but the last 5 years were horrible and she would have to move. She was tired of cleaning excrement, piss and vomit from her doorway.
Jackie Dueshel  pointed out the positive of community coming together to clean behind the Bayshore mall only to see it in disarray a year later and have transients hassle her while trying to clean this year.
Jeanie from Henderson Center had faith in the community but said this last year had a lot of “Tweaker” issues.
Kathryn said this was “Cause and effect” and we needed to be patient with people.
John Shelter let it be known that every person was a Human being and pointed out his track record for successfully cleaning and hiring Home poor. He did say there were more than usual out there.
Some observations:
There were protesters outside that were blowing whistles to disrupt the meeting, but most of the time they were drowning out homeless advocate’s speeches and pleas.

Not only was the forum unorganized, the protest against the forum was spotty at best.

 Many of the people at this forum were people I do not normally see at any political events.

It is alarming that this subject has such a large impact to cause this much concern.
Has the problem escalated the last few years? I believe it has.

What is the answer? That is a huge question. We need to address little issues before that big things. I have been public in the past of the need to have Social Services put B & B’s out on the Peninsula and behind the Bayshore so Home Poor citizens can at least go to the bathroom in dignity and not cause environmental issues in our coastal wetlands and beaches.

(I had to leave early to check in on softball, so I did miss some speakers.)


Anonymous said...

I am a volunteer who work for Betty chin this attack on Betty only makes her work with the homeless all that more special keep up the good work Betty if we only had more like her

tarvos0 said...

Aside from being wealthy, why would Arkley have any mandate to gather a truly representative group of Eurekans? ... If ny hometown is going to solve this problem, it's goung to be a group of folks like Richard Marks leading way and not a guy with money to simply impose his will.

Charlie Bean said...

"I have been public in the past of the need to have Social Services put B & B’s out on the Peninsula and behind the Bayshore so Home Poor citizens can at least go to the bathroom in dignity and not cause environmental issues in our coastal wetlands and beaches."

But this may attract more homeless according to one speaker last night, yes? I believe this was speaker who wished the County not to apply for grants that encouraged homelessness. Be curious where you would locate a restroom (s) on the peninsula, email me with your thoughts. I am working on a Restroom inventory in the County and your input could be helpful.

Julie Timmons said...

Thanks for the report, Richard.

Anonymous said...

This may well be about the crossbow killing. From Wikipedia: In the law of torts, the attractive nuisance doctrine states that a landowner may be held liable for injuries to children trespassing on the land if the injury is caused by a hazardous object or condition on the land that is likely to attract children who are unable to appreciate the risk posed by the object or condition. The doctrine has been applied to hold landowners liable for injuries caused by abandoned cars, piles of lumber or sand, trampolines, and swimming pools. However, it can be applied to virtually anything on the property of the landowner.

Anonymous said...

Remove Flemming from her home on Indian Island and convert the island into a homeless sanctuary. Meat, water, firewood and bread dough can all be air dropped to the island. There, they can create there own system of laws, or let anarchy rule.

Dbb said...

One of the problems ( in my opinion) is the fact that most of these homeless people will ,once a month,be at the social security office to pick up their check. S.S.I checks are given out to drug addicts and mentally disturbed people. Up till recently S.S. would pay people whom where addicted to drugs or where able to show"insanity". Most of these people had never worked a day in their life's.
As a police officer once told me , what they do each month is they will pick up their checks at the S.S office and they will get one of those cheap drug motel rooms and hang there doing drugs till their money runs out and they are back out on the streets till its time to get another check from S.S.I.
Why are these motels allowed to stay open?? Why does S.S. just hand these people money?
I believe that there are two kinds of homeless folks the ones that seek help and have fallen on hard times and the other is the drug addict whom has mental issues.
No matter what the Arkleys are not the ones to solve this problem, their only concern is the fact that they do not what these people to be a part of their little "Arkley Ville"

Mrs. Milbank said...

This petition is for Humboldt County citizens that see the danger in Mr. Arkley and his supporters deciding what public services are available – and not available – for the poor.

Bill Holmes said...

Hello Richard,

Thank you for having the courage to say what has to be said. Porta potties are a solution, not a problem.

I spent 25 years working in a casino in a real tourist town (Reno). What they did (remember this is Red State Nevada but also business friendly Nevada) is that they situated several dozen porta potties in a circle surrounding the downtown business core district (casino district). These are situated discretely up alley ways, down abandoned railway right of ways, behind trees etc etc. Poor people find them and use them with dignity, and they don't need to wander into the middle of town. win win.

Its time for a mix of compassion and good business sense, doncha think?

have a peaceful day,