Cliff Berkowitz / Thursday, July 28 @ 9:29 a.m. / Politics
In light of the suspicion that Russia is behind the hacking of the DNC to expose embarrassing emails from Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and the fact that yesterday Donald Trump in a press conference basically asked Russia to hack Hillary Clinton to find the "missing" emails from her server, this picture of street art from Lithuania is fitting.
Betty Chinn Gives Us an Update on the Blue Angel Container Village, a (Temporary) Home for the Homeless
Bayley Brown / Wednesday, July 27 @ 11:10 a.m. / Homelessness
Betty Chinn standing by the healing garden in the Blue Angel Village Photo: Bayley Brown
Betty Chinn and Greater Eureka Community Outreach Program (GECOP) Project Manager James Rockwell came in to give an update on how the project is shaping up at the Mercer-Fraser Parking Lot at Commercial and 3rd Streets. GECOP has been informally called "Container Village" and "Betty's Apartments" but Rockwell said that the residents voted on "Blue Angel Village" at one of their weekly community meetings.
The project is nearing its halfway point, and Chinn says that they have seen significant progress from many of the residents. Under the agreement with the city, people who check in have 90 days to find employment and housing. They will have to extend the deadline for a few residents to 120 days because the process takes time. Chinn says, “Basically they’ve stayed back because of the housing. We haven’t gotten the paperwork done yet.” So far 16 people have found permanent housing and about 28 have employment.
GECOP connects residents with medical care, mental health services, alcohol and drug services, birth certificate, state IDs, and other foundational needs. “We work with people where they’re at and try to build up their potential to reenter our community,” Rockwell said. He also had the idea of a healing garden, which the residents have taken pride in.
Rockwell said that a low barrier program is important. “So many people there have dogs. That is a barrier to them getting any sort of housing program,” he said. The only overnight shelter in the community doesn’t allow dogs. He stressed that it was amazing how much this was a prohibitive barrier for people to get into programs and get housing. We discussed how the dogs are members of the residents’ families and it was important to keep people with their companions.
When the program was first proposed, many businesses spoke out against it. Chinn stressed that they have not had any problems and that in fact one unnamed business owner now comes by daily. She attributed this to her good neighbor policy: no loitering, no litter and no trespassing.
Chinn and Rockwell said that they have made a commitment to have the containers there for only six months. The containers are not outfitted with heating. Rockwell said that they will have to get creative in the winter, but luckily the environment on Humboldt Bay is temperate.
“It’s a program in which we allow people with whatever problems they have with their dogs and whatever baggage to come in and get an opportunity to change their life around. People are seizing the opportunity” Rockwell said. He stressed that giving people homes first gives them empowerment through a sense of ownership and voice. Rockwell elaborated: “We’ve engaged with a lot of hopelessness. ‘I can’t change my life. This is it.’ So to watch people come alive from that state has been pure awesomeness. Really, really fulfilling for me on a personal level to participate in that process with people.”
If anyone wants more information or is looking for employees, Betty requests you call the Day Center at 707-407-3833 or visit http://bettychinn.org/
- Inside the New Plan to Move Homeless People From the Palco Marsh Into Metal Shipping Containers
- Eureka Approves Container Village Homeless Shelter, Despite Outcry From Neighboring Business Owners
The healing garden Photo: Bayley Brown
A view of the village from the street Photo: Bayley Brown
A row of apartments Photo: Bayley Brown
A few more apartments Photo: Bayley Brown
Cliff Berkowitz / Tuesday, July 26 @ 9:09 a.m. / Trails
This morning I spoke with Emily Sinkhorn, Erin Kelly and Michael Kauffmann about the Bigfoot Trail. Emily and Erin spent about a month hiking this beautiful trail through some of the most stunning parts of the country. Emily and Erin pictured here in the Marble Mountain Wilderness. Check out more of their trip on their blog.
Bayley Brown / Friday, July 22 @ 2:48 p.m. / Music
Bayley Brown / Friday, July 22 @ 2:21 p.m. / Theater
North Coast Repertory Theater presents "Moon Over Buffalo". This farce runs at 8 P.M. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays till August 13 and 2 P.M. matinee July 31 and August 7. For more information check out ncrt.net or call 707-442-NCRT (6278).
Saturday, July 23 is a benefit for the Humboldt Literacy Project. Get your tickets from their offices in Eureka or Fortuna or call 707-445-3655 or 707-725-0655.
Check out my interview with Director Scott Malcom before the first performance.
Cliff Berkowitz / Thursday, July 21 @ 9:13 a.m. / Dogs
This morning I spoke with Beverly Morgan Lewis about this weekend's Lost Coast Kennel Club event's taking place here in Ferndale. Saturday through Monday will be the 12th annual Agility Trials. This will take place at the Ferndale Fairgrounds. In addition to this they will also present the 3rd annual Barn Hunt. This will demonstrate dogs abilities to sniff out and find rats and vermin. No rats will be harmed in this event. The Barn Hunt will take place Saturday and Sunday. There is an entry fee for dogs to participate, however, spectating is completely free.