File photo from the EPD’s March 17 Devil’s Playground raid. Andrew Goff.

Press release from the City of Eureka:

The City of Eureka will be enforcing the “No Camping” ordinance and the Eureka Police Department gave a warning “notice to vacate” to those camping on public or private lands within the City of Eureka. Those specifically camping behind the area of the Bayshore Mall were warned to remove all personal property within ten days.

Today, Officers and Detectives contacted 113 individuals and arrested one for an outstanding felony warrant. The individuals were warned to comply with the notice to vacate or enforcement action will be taken in the future. A full list of local resources were once again provided to all individuals. EPD will continue to give warnings and provide service options before moving to citations and arrests. Routine clean-up of the marsh areas will continue every Thursday to ensure that City property is maintained for public use.

Available local resources include assistance for food, clothing, shelter, mental health and drug and alcohol treatment. The City hopes that those needing assistance will take steps to obtain services. Unfortunately, that has not been occurring. The Eureka Rescue Mission is a prime example of available services that go unused. In June, the Mission had a capacity for 60 men and 33 women, however, most days it operated at half of that capacity. (See graph.)

The City can no longer afford to ignore this illegal activity. The risk associated with the ongoing illegal activity is too great of a liability to the City of Eureka. In addition, the City has received complaints from the Environmental Protection Agency, California Coastal Commission and residents concerning the mounds of trash and resulting pollution due to the homeless population that lives behind the Bayshore Mall.

City Manager Greg Sparks commented that “the City of Eureka believes it is critical to enforce clean-up and end camping on public property in the environmentally sensitive marsh and green belt areas of the community. These areas need to be available for the enjoyment of all our residents and our visitors.”