Greater Eureka Community Outreach Program press release:
The GECOP temporary homeless shelter at West Third Street and Commercial Street in Eureka has been in operation since Sunday, May 1st, and is pleased to have made significant progress towards aiding homeless individuals in transitioning away from the homeless lifestyle. GECOP wishes to share information regarding the demographics of current shelter residents with the community, as well as to highlight some of the exciting steps towards a new lifestyle taken by program participants.
GECOP currently houses 19 women and 17 men. A wait list to enter into GECOP transitional program is over 30-people long. Of the current 36 occupants, 12 were born and raised in Humboldt County, 13 have lived in Humboldt for over 20 years, and the remainder have resided in Humboldt for an average of 3 years. There are currently zero 290 sex offender registrants enrolled with the GECOP transitional shelter. GECOP additionally houses 22 dogs.
Since May 1st, 18 individuals have found full-time employment, 5 of whom have also found permanent housing. An additional 2 individuals have entered into permanent housing, and 3 individuals have engaged with drug-abuse counseling services. 1 resident will enroll for classes at College of the Redwoods. 9 Individuals have received help obtaining State ID’s and/or birth certificates. 5 individuals have left the program on their own terms, while 2 have been exited from the program due to rules violations.
Betty Chinn, of the Betty Kwan Chinn Homeless Foundation, says of the project: “It’s a miracle that we were able to pull this off but I am so happy. We are doing very good work here.” All residents have been in contact, and continue to work with, dedicated case managers and county public health staff.
On-site seminars conducted by Express Employment Professionals have helped provide employment training and skills evaluations to shelter residents. Dog obedience courses, conducted by a professional trainer, are ongoing. The temporary shelter has also installed a community garden, which will be used for ornamental plants as well as produce.
Lee Ulansey, President of GECOP LLC, says of the shelter that “…it has been gratifying to see the program be so successful. The results of people getting jobs, paying taxes, and finding direction for their own lives are encouraging, and most importantly residents are being treated in a compassionate and humane manner.” GECOP looks forward to continued and accelerated success as the temporary shelter program progresses.