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Danco Communities has completely transformed a dilapidated eyesore, formerly known as the Downtowner motel, into an ultramodern 50-unit affordable housing complex for low-income seniors.

In this LoCO Video Report we take you to Thursday night’s ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration, which was held to congratulate and acknowledge all of those who were involved with the massive undertaking.

“This is our 15th project we’ve done in the Humboldt County area and to see the residents is what makes it all worthwhile,” said Danco Group President and CEO Dan Johnson. “You can see the difference you make in somebody’s life and it’s pretty heartfelt.”

Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass said: “I have a Chinese symbol on my wall. It says ‘Chaos,’ and underneath it it says ‘Where brilliant dreams are born.’ That explains this completely. Because it was in chaos and it was a very painful long process to get here. But what an amazing result. So I think the destination was certainly worth the journey.”

The lodge is an absolute dream come true for the people that just moved in. Many have disabilities, and some were even homeless before this opportunity. Shirley and Bernie Herrera are ecstatic about their new two-bedroom apartment, which comes complete with a view of Humboldt Bay.

“The place we were living before was a lot of upkeep and my husband had a lot of yard work there, so it was difficult,” she says. “But it worked out, we’re in here and we love it.”

With Eureka’s ongoing struggle to provide adequate housing for its citizens and the continued strain of how to address homelessness, this housing project has set a precedent for how local businesses and government officials can work together to create change, and to create something the community desperately needs.