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Dozens of men who used to sleep on floor mats at the Eureka Rescue Mission are now getting a better night’s sleep in brand new pine bunk beds.
Over the past six months the number of homeless people sleeping at the mission has more than doubled, going from around 60 to 150 this past Monday night. That includes men, women and children — however men make up two-thirds of those served and were the ones without beds. The mission’s Executive Director Bryan Hall Sr. says the space was getting cramped and it was time for a change.
Hall noticed that bunk beds were donated to Betty Chinn’s family center, which is right down the street, and assembled by the Rotary Club of Eureka. So he thought, “Hey, this is actually possible,” and began to reach out.
With the help of Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass, her husband and president of the Rotary Club of Eureka Matthew Owen, Eureka’s Parks and Recreation director Miles Slattery, the city of Eureka, and the Eureka First Church of the Nazarene, the dream of acquiring 27 bunk beds and 54 mattresses came true, despite the $20,000 price tag.
“This is just a huge blessing for the homeless people to come in off of the street and actually get into a bed,” said Hall. “I mean there’s a lot of things we take for granted in life. And it’s things like this that makes a huge difference in the lives of the people that we serve.”
Vern’s Furniture also worked hard to get the beds and have them assembled. And the rotary along with the non-profit Pay-It-Forward Humboldt are working to collect 100 new sets of twin sheets and pillows.
“That’s the best thing about this community. They care about what’s going on and they want to help,” said Bass.
It was with community collaboration, understanding and never forgetting about those who are less fortunate, that these homeless men now not only have a clean and comfortable place to sleep, but a crucial element in providing the dignity they need to persevere through tough times.
“If we all work together, we can get a lot more done,” said Owen. “ And hopefully various community people can come forward with an idea like this, for what other charity or non-profit needs some help, what can we do to pitch in together to make things better.”