Every other year they do a “point in time” count of the homeless. The mission is to count all of the homeless people in Humboldt County in one day. It’s called the Point in Time count and is required by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for any county that seeks to receive funding through HUD. A person name Karen Fox Olsen (the head of Arcata House) is in charge of this count.
The Last count was so low it was widely challenged, they were force to change their numbers. This year a week before the count rumors were started that California Fish and Wildlife was going to come out and tell the homeless to leave. The day of the count one participant counted for 10 hours down in Southern Humboldt and got over 205 homeless. Reports have come in that the people that were running the counting hub that Olsen told some of the hubs to stop counting at 3:00pm. Before all numbers were in! The story coming from Olsen is that the count looks about the same or lower than 2 years ago. WTF? How can that be??
Eureka’s real numbers of homeless are through the roof. Southern Humboldt numbers are definitely up. All a person has to do is take a drive around this county and see all the folks camped out and on the streets, to know we are suffering from a lack of affordable housing.
What would the motive be to fabricate or fix the point in time count, if they need the money (HUD dollars) to run the operations like Annex Arcata Night shelter?
Two years ago right before the count was challenged, they (Karen Fox Olsen and her group) were at the County Supervisors meeting giving their spin on how homelessness was down in Humboldt and they were pitching to keep this Point In Time count going because “it works so well”, which the Supervisors ate right up. (Politicians love to point to the rare successful projects.) But when they were challenged they changed some wording on their count and came back with 900 homeless children living on our streets!
So why corrupt the count? Some speculate it’s so they can say CHIPS (a new program that Chief Mills and the Supervisors came up with) or Betty Chinn Service are successful game changers in Eureka??
It’s obvious that this “Point in time count” has come in way short.
What we’re trying to figure out is why and who benefits?
Organizations funded by HUD (United States Department of Housing and Urban Development)
Humboldt County homeless assistance programs received more than $647,000 of funding from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Any county in the U.S. that receives funding from HUD is required to do a Point in Time count.
Arcata House Partnership: $316,493 for Apartments First! and SVK House permanent supportive housing programs.
Humboldt Bay Housing and Development Corp.: $27,721 for permanent supportive housing.
Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services: $44,671 for Humboldt Housing; $45,431 for HIV/AIDS Re-Housing Team.
Redwood Community Action Agency: $39,092 for the Youth Service Bureau Launch Pad transitional living program for homeless youth or youth fleeing from dangerous living situations; $104,147 for the Multiple Assistance Center.
Humboldt County’s Homeless Management Information Systems: $69,500
Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition also receive funding from HUD.