Our original story:
Eureka Citizen responds:
Clearly, our intentions were not to criminalize panhandling in Eureka.
Other cities have required the same, no charge permits, and have cut panhandling in half.
Being homeless is a tragedy, and needs to be addressed by all citizens.
Getting the community talking about issues, that are all closely related, and then being actively involved in the search for solutions, is what our group’s end goal.
We, in no way, are related to R. Arkley; he advocated programs that produced large financial gains, for himself, if implemented. Some of our members, and the term is used loosely, are business owners tired of their businesses being affected by Eureka blight, vandalism, shoplifting, and equipment theft. Others, in our group, are ordinary citizens, young thru old that have tired of Eureka looking like ‘hobo-central’; every corner covered by panhandling, run down hotels, and trash everywhere. We also have 4 homeless members that are tired of the dangers they face every day due to the condition of the city. Side note: these 4 members have accepted help from our group, but, by their choice, have limited what they accepted.
Our group chose to push Eureka’s City Council, due to the council’s history of stalling action on homelessness and city cleanup efforts. We push EPD, due to rising crime rates that increase the risks every citizen faces daily.
We advocate change, not criminalization of life.