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?