Who benefits from the systematic under count of the Houseless?

homeless in humboldt

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?

Any ideas?



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.


33 thoughts on “Who benefits from the systematic under count of the Houseless?

  1. I have never believed these numbers. I believe my own eyes

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The U.S. Dept. of Commerce also keeps tabs on homelessness.

    I worked in the administrative office for the U.S. Census in Eureka covering 5 counties in 2010. There was a small window of time limiting the effort, but then, having only one year to assess a rural population where satellites show thousands of structures without county records, would take a team of 20 people several years to sort out. Oh, and they don’t want to be counted!

    Higher populations mean higher federal and state contributions for services, more importantly, revealing to the world the abysmal economic, health and social conditions in the U.S.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Crikey, what is it with you TE…MORE questions!!!

    Why do you hate Humboldt County, making some people squirm like this?

    Keep it up, these are dam good questions…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Even Sir Robin of Arkley believes there are entirely too many homeless in Sherwood Forest by the Bay, does he not? Solution(s), however, differ and therein the answer to your question. e.g. Less $$$ available for providing shelter and care, more incentive to move on. And vice versa.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You were hell bent on getting names of EUREKA CITIZENS members, yet you have no names when saying: “rumor was that California fish and Wildlife were going to tell the homeless to leave”. Or that Olsen told people to stop counting at 3:00 pm. Some names please. And a libturd beating up on Betty Chin? Shame on you.


  6. nobody is beating up Betty Chin.No rumor the homeless reported it and lots of other police contact trying to move them on. reports of back hoes behind the mall. Reports of military behind the mall (probably EPD). Fox was reporting low numbers or about the same numbers as the last count before the count was over.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There was no problem using the name of Karen Olsen. Let’s see some names attached to the people spreading “rumors” and “speculating”, or those “reporting”. Or is this another case of making stuff up and calling it “inside information” ?.


  8. The Point in Time Count is not intended to count ALL homeless persons. If it were, we would be counting for months. The idea is to get a sampling of the persons experiencing homelessness and compare data about them with that from previous years.
    Different communities do it different ways. Sonoma County, for example, surveys 200 people and extrapolates to the entire population of homeless. This is a common approach. Other communities set up tables at sites frequented by houseless people and survey those that come in. Humboldt is unusual in its effort to get out to outlying places and survey as many people as possible from different places.
    Also worth mentioning that the PIT Count is done entirely by community volunteers and the effort is really a beast. Anyone that has gripes is welcome to coordinate the Count in 2017. Simply contact the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition and let them know you are willing to take it on. Oh, and this is NOT a paid position. Any money raised for the Count goes for incentives for people willing to be surveyed like socks and this year each respondent got $2. A little was spent on cell phones for communication. Coffee was donated as was printing and compilation of data from the forms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fox, is that you?
      The way that the Count is represented (and used) by the non-profits here to the media, granters, etc. is not that “a sampling was done;” it is represented as a count of the local numbers of homeless people. So, how it is done in other places is irrelevant. Explaining why Karen ‘Fox’ Olsen called off the Count early in the day (and the silliest time of the day if you’re trying to find homeless people) would be appropriate, responsible, accountable, and fair. Okay, no one got paid to talk with homeless people. That does not mean no accountability is needed. I work every day with people for no pay, and that does mean I can be dishonest or do sketchy things that effect so many people. Nor does it mean if I am questioned about potentially sketchy action (by people who honestly care about people), if I am asked WHY I do/did what I do/did, that I can just ignore the questions and tell them, “Why don’t YOU do it, being you have gripes!” That is a weird cop out. Poverty pimping is no good, folks.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. i just realized how many times I said “people” in my last comment! Busy while I’m typing…
    Yep, I said it again!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. More heroic individuals would step up to volunteer if the bureaucrats in the trenches were willing to speak out about local unmet needs and how other communities are solving their problems, if we don’t have the $ we, at least, should understand how much $ we need!

    A good example is found in how we treat children.

    Good luck trying to get any statistical data from the numerous organizations, agencies and NGO’s out there doing their thing without any public reporting of how well they’re doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. If the count is much higher, it will be easy to blame shelter workers and DHHS for creating incentives for transients to relocate here semipermanently. Rather than a real umet need it will look like misguided pandering. A perfectly good strategy would be to try to get more funding for existing service levels rather than try to start more other projects and spread the meager wealth around. That’s If they are doctoring the count, which they might not be. It could be that intensified eradication efforts ie bulldozers behind the mall – actually drive people into town where they become visible.


    • Again, I’m not an EC member, but what’s the possibility that this new project would not be built, established, and then merged with Betty Chin’s? That is what happened in San Diego. Private donors bought property, built the shelter, provided funding to operate it, and then merged St. Vincent de Paul shelter into the operations. It is now the St. Vincent de Paul shelter. In the past 4 years, the same private donors renovated the entire complex, doubling the size and added space for additional services. The shelter now serves over 350 resident singles and families, plus daily meals for another 300.

      You assumed that this group was not in contact with Betty Chin; all they said was her facility could not handle all the services and number of residents, that this project would be capable of.

      I’m sure Betty Chin has had some discussions with EC.
      Yes, their insistence of remaining anonymous has been met with negative reaction, but their proposed shelter is definitely needed in Eureka to curb the number of homeless here. Besides, no one has come up with ANY valid reason to know the member names prior to the opening of the project.


    • I’m not an EC member but I sound just like the other posters with different names. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice….

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Every Eureka resident has a right to know the identity and plans of deep-pocket individuals impacting future liabilities of their city. A city council agreeing to keep secrets is not working in the public’s interest.

    Voluntary internment camps, dormitory shelters, or tent cities are the only options? Where are the experts describing the unmet needs and efficacy of these narrow “solutions”?

    Without the dignity of independent homes/apartments there’s little chance of integrating the destitute into normal life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Where did you see, anywhere in the announcement or comments, that this would be turned over to the city, or become a city liability? Clearly, you are making up an excuse to have names named.

      EC clearly stated this would be a private project, using no government funding.

      Please, read what is there, not what you fantasize about.


  13. The services provided within this facility are to be public funded, according to EC.

    If this is not the best direction for Eureka, it could indeed be a liability and citizens deserve to be included at the table at the outset.

    Where are the professionals weighing in?

    So far, all we have are a few blowhards with deep pockets buying the ear of officials offering the same undignified carrot and stick sheltering schemes that bear little semblance to normal, independent, respectful living.

    Not one flop house should be shut down without Eminent Domain and immediate refurbishing for decent independent living. The state of Utah, and other communities already proved that it is far cheaper to put people into modest, clean apartments than the costs of housing them in jails, mental health facilities, emergency rooms, and drug rehabilitation centers. Demand for Utah’s tent cities and dormitory shelters has already plummeted.

    Warehousing people didn’t work for the Chinese or the native residents and it shouldn’t be the model for dealing with homelessness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Again, you read only what you wanted. Please, if you want to make a statement, in an effort to criticize, then be sure of your facts! Using partial information, then assuming a false conclusion, makes you look like the ass your probably are 100% of the time.

      The services listed are already funded and currently located at multiple locations around the city.

      The proposed project clearly stated that office facilities would be provided, free of charge, to these service locations in order to consolidate their services into a better facility that makes applying for services easier for applicants.

      As for warehousing homeless, again you assume without any knowledge of the project. As the project is still in the design stage, and quite large scale, it will take time to put forward a final blueprint.

      EC is aware of Utah’s success; in fact, several corporate sponsors have offices in Utah and supplied travel for some of EC’s members to view/tour several sites in the area around Salt Lake City.

      As the City of Eureka explores Rapid Re-housing, EC has been able to obtain city staff research results as they continue to gain information. FYI: No special privileges were used to gain access to staff findings, as the same info is available to any citizen by filing a request to the city clerk.

      Again, everyone on TE seems SO eager to discredit a proposal to help the homeless in Eureka. Why is that? It appears that yourself, and other TE posters work very hard to ensure help remains unavailable to those in need.


  14. Well, that’s great news Paul, I’m sure you’re not an “ass” and will provide a link here to confirm your assertions.


    All I’ve read and responded to on this issue were comments by “EC” on this blog.

    FYI “shelters” and Utah’s small independent apartments are worlds apart.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Apparently, you haven’t seen the small apartments with kitchens that allowed Utah to immediately reduce it’s homeless rate 78% at a cost savings! Shelters are shorter-term communal living arrangements requiring rigid rules while awaiting independent apartments with kitchens….

    There is a need for emergency shelters, but if that’s the only “solution”, it’s no solution at all.

    Long before a mysterious entity is allowed to advance yet another shelter project in Eureka, the issue should be publicly vetted with expert testimony confirming the need, the effectiveness, the alternatives, and then let the people decide.


    • I guess that would depend on if the city, or public, were putting up part of the tab.
      Since this is a private project, there is no requirement, nor need, for public hearings.
      You, personally, have NO voice in a private development.


    • Paul P/ EC says: Since this is a private project, there is no requirement, nor need, for public hearings.
      You, personally, have NO voice in a private development.

      Ever hear of the Arkley’s Marina Center project?
      Any project the size of the one your alluding too, will have to go in front of the Planning Commission and their decision is appealable to the City Council.

      Liked by 2 people

    • The Arkley haters would have lined up to oppose his project. Who on the commission or council would block helping the homeless?


    • Pete: The difference is that Arkley’s Marina Center involved wetlands and required government oversight for qualification of development. Yes, there was public opposition, but it only caused the loss of jobs to the city.
      This project will NOT require public input for it to be built and operate. Odd, you did not require Betty Chin to go through your “tests” before opening her facility.

      FYI: There is another attempt to develop the Marina Center property that will, most likely, include tenant businesses that are marine related, as the property requires. Eureka Citizen has no participation in the upcoming Marina Center project, but has been kept informed by several of it’s new national corporate partners.


  16. Shelters are emergency responses to the absence of modest independent housing, THEY ARE NOT A “SOLUTION”!

    If Eureka and it’s speculator owners are determined to avoid the actual solution as they have decade after decade, then, yes, it will need many more tent cities and shelter dormitories.

    Liked by 2 people

    • If you must know, the proposed shelter is not a dormitory type shelter. The plans call for the following:

      A) Intake dorm for 25 men
      B) Intake dorm for 25 women

      The dorms are for initial intake processing; health evaluations, initial program registration, etc. These areas are more for the protection of the majority of residents from possibilities such as lice or other medical transmissions. Also, single men and women will be evaluated for roommate compatibility, medical needs, etc.

      C) 10 Small studio apartments for couples without children

      Studies have found that separating married couples in shelters, based on a lack of children, puts undue stress on the relationship and difficulty obtaining joint services. Initially, childless couples would be separated in the intake dorms for the same evaluations as singles, and for verification of marital status.

      D) 25 standard 2 bedroom apartments for families with children. Families will be immediately placed in apartments for initial intake evaluation and for long term stays.

      E) 60 Townhouse, 2 story units

      These units will have 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a small kitchenette. Units are designed for roommate style living; 2 upper bedrooms with shared bath, 2 lower bedrooms with shared bath. Kitchenette will have small individual dorm style refrigerators (4), and 2 microwaves. Kitchenettes are for use as personal use “snack” facilities, as a full cafeteria style kitchen, serving 3 meals per day, will provide meals for the entire complex.

      F) 20 Senior/Handicap Studios

      These units will be for seniors and single handicapped individuals. Also for special need individuals

      Resident facilities, other than residential services:

      A) Full cafeteria dining hall and kitchen. Provides full meal service, 3 times per day, for the entire complex. Kitchen facility will also be used for classroom/training facility for culinary arts program.

      B) Computer learning center:

      Facility designed for continuing education for GED, job training, and general computer use for job seekers. Computer center will also serve as an additional facility for computer training and for social services applications.

      C) Full laundry facility

      D) Daycare Facility and After School Facility

      Provide full daycare and pre-K center. After school programs for resident children

      E) Various office facilities for combined social service programs.

      At present there are separate locations, throughout Eureka, for programs such as WIC, SNAP, DHSS, Medi-Cal, etc. Offices will be provided for these services to be located on-site for ease and speed of qualifying residents for services. We will attempt to include services that the MAC will eventually drop for families.

      F) Medical Clinic

      Clinic will process initial intake evaluations, outpatient care, and pediatrics. Additionally, facility will provide mental health services. AA, NA and other addiction services will also be available for all shelter residents.

      G) Kennel facilities for resident pet owners

      All dogs owned by residents will be kennel kept; no in resident pets allowed. Vet services will be offered as needed; all resident pets will be required to have full vaccinations and be spayed/neutered in order to qualify. Pets must remain on leashes at all times, except while in kennel day care facility. Service dogs will be allowed, with City of Eureka license and ADA requirements.

      This project does NOT include religious services, but will be capable of providing offices and facilities for services as requested by residents.

      Drug use and alcohol use by residents will automatically disqualify individuals from the residential facility.

      The overall development is designed to be a combination facility offering “Shelter style facilities” during intake processing, Rapid Housing style facilities via roommate units and family units. Senior/Handicap facilities for elderly and handicap residents. Also, some of the family units will fall under the same style that the MAC currently provides.

      Most of the facility services will be provided by residents as a condition of qualification. Kitchen duties, facility grounds-keeping, facility laundry, etc. will be performed by residents as part of job training and/or condition of residency.

      Overall, the facility will have up to 45 full time employee positions plus additional part time positions.

      We are still trying to obtain adequate property for the facility. Then construction and staffing will be determined.

      It is possible that the facility will combine services with Betty Chin, but details have not been completed.

      There has been quite a bit of legwork and research done to design a facility where residents can comfortably live while making progress toward self-sufficiency.

      To date, total raised toward construction: $3.56 million.
      Total raised for operations: Annual commitments of $1.85 million.

      Estimated construction cost: $5.5 million
      Estimated annual operations: $2.2 million

      IF you have constructive recommendations, please let us know.

      Again, this is a combination facility modeled after new programs, such as those in use in Utah, and other large shelter programs in use in San Diego, Dallas, and Tampa Bay. Eureka Citizen members have toured facilities in each of these locations to assist in design of facility and services offered.


  17. Pingback: Homeless numbers down 43% (wtf?) and more locally spun “alternative facts” | Tuluwat Examiner

  18. Sounds like a jail or institution to me….


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