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Members of the organization “Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives” — known as “AHHA” — presented petitions with more than 1,000 signatures supporting the declaration of a local shelter crisis to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

In this LoCO Video Report we hear from the group and many others who are deeply concerned with the county’s abundance of homeless people but shortage of places for those people to potentially live, or even go.

It’s a complex problem with no right answer, but AHHA is confident that if allowed the opportunity they could make a positive impact on the homeless population by creating a sanctuary campground or tiny house village.

They say the declaration would help relax zoning restrictions and liability, thus allowing for more areas to become potential sites. It could also open up access to state and federal funding.

“For us, a tent is affordable housing,” says Nezzie Wade, AHHA’s president. “We’ve always thought …. starting there, and then tiny houses, to transitional houses, to permanent. But the whole idea is: People have to start somewhere.”

The organization hopes the shelter crisis declaration will soon be on the supervisors’ agenda to at least allow for further discussion.