Tales of Eureka’s “successes”?????

blue heron

The North Coast News recently had an article about the City of Eureka sharing “insight” with other cities regarding Eureka’s response to homelessness.  From the article, “Slattery said now after seeing improvements in homelessness, unemployment, and financial education, as well as in child services. He said they are now heading to the League of Cities Conference to share what has worked…..”

What has worked?!?  No, really, what HAS worked?  As one drives into Eureka from either north or south the sight of Eureka’s success is all around.  Let’s take just a couple examples.  We’ll start with the Blue Heron Hotel, which had been owned by the slimy slumlord Floyd Squires. Eureka spent time and money to take Squires to court and get the building closed down and boarded up.  That was accomplished over a year and a half ago.  But what has happened with the hotel since?  Not a thing.  Driving by the doors and windows are still boarded up, and the building sits empty.  Not too far away hidden in the greenbelts are the former residents of that almost unlivable hotel.  Eureka could have fixed up the building and forced Squires to pay for improvements or lose ownership.  Instead, the residents were forced out on the street and the buildings sit empty.

But wait….that’s just one building, right?  Wrong.  Even though the Blue Heron has been sitting empty for over a year there’s going to be new competition.  The Budget Motel was closed and as we wrote about before Eureka didn’t take the proper steps to see that the building was fixed up and utilized for housing.  The residents of the Blue Heron and Budget Motel didn’t just go out and find affordable housing……because there isn’t any.  Those two ugly and unhealthy properties provided a service in Eureka.  Even though we don’t advocate allowing slumlords to continue taking advantage of the poor through filthy/sub par housing, when one of these properties is just “shut down” there is no housing for many of the residents to move to.  These folks don’t just leave our community because there’s no affordable housing.  They don’t have the means.  So, they are left to fend for themselves in the greenbelts of Eureka.

Is this one of the successful measures Miles Slattery will tout as he tells the tales of Eureka’s “successes” in taking on the issue of homelessness?

homeless in the brush


2 thoughts on “Tales of Eureka’s “successes”?????

  1. Housing first!
    Hosing first!
    What a difference a vowel makes.
    You forget
    Eureka is in partnership with the county
    What could have been, should have been, is needed?


  2. I read an article about a larger city that was looking into using ocean containers for housing for homeless (like Betty’s) and since that project has been successful (In its limited ways) so far, I imagine that they will be talking that up as their accomplishment while all they really did was get out of the way so someone with a real commitment could accomplish something.


    And of course, it’s a nonprofit organization that’s behind the project.

    But I do agree that the places now vacant could have been turned into productive living units. The late mayor of San Francisco Joseph Alioto called a city official into his office and told him he was going to give him the GOYA Award. The official, rather surprised, thanked him and asked him what the award was, what did it mean? Alioto told him it’s the Get Off Your Ass award if you want to keep your job. It was in an old Herb Caen’s column but Alioto was a man who got things done so I imagine the story is true.

    I worked for a company that was faced with the need for changes and so they set up workshops at various company offices across the US so that people from other offices would come to a certain city for the workshop (but not their own). It was called Management of Change, and a lot of it was based on the work of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ book On Death and Dying…all the stages that people go through when confronted with death and dying.
    I knew the book so I knew the steps so I observed how other people reacted to
    each part of the two day program. It was good, very good and the company was somewhat upset to discover some of the people they wanted to keep at the company learned from the course and decided they’d make their own changes (problem solving was one of the parts…).
    This probably isn’t the course but it’s much like it:

    I think that’s something that’s needed both in Eureka and Humboldt County.
    The leaders only want those changes which they are prepared for, or comfortable with. And so they work together to protect the status-quo because then everyone is comfortable. Any real change has to magically appear and not involve giving up anything that gives anyone a sense of security. But that just isn’t going to happen.
    And worst of all, none of the ‘leaders’ will admit that the problems are bigger than they are because it would show that they’ve failed at what they said they’d do.

    The company I worked for? The exercises showed that the sales managers were the worst at everything. They were used to having an assistant to do all the regular work (letters, creating quotes and sending them out, other research) and when they were told they’d be given their own laptop and would have to maintain their own files a good third of them decided to retire. In our office the one good salesman (he had his own computer already) had already explored his options and found another job. the other two were freaked out at not having a company car anymore!

    Of course every municipal and county employee will be resistant to change for all the same reasons….which is why police departments often need federal intervention to get their acts together. Unfortunately cities and counties don’t have that fallback, only well-informed, concerned voters.

    Liked by 1 person

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