Yesterday, North Coast News ran a segment that showed activists for the houseless picketing a clean-up event sponsored by PacOut Green Team, a group of volunteers organized by Pacific Outfitters that goes around and picks up trash from the county’s greenspaces.

NCN reported that the picketers are working under the “Stop the Sweeps” banner. That’s a movement that advocates for the rights of people experiencing homelessness to camp in public places, and which often demonstrates at evictions of encampments.

PacOut told NCN that it’s only concerned with cleaning up trash and limiting the pollution, and there was some back and forth in that segment. Today, Eureka Mayor Kim Bergel issued a press release in support of PacOut, and urging community members with some time on their hands to get involved.

From Eureka Mayor Kim Bergel:

As Mayor of the City of Eureka and longtime supporter and volunteer of the PacOut Green Team, I am shocked and bewildered by the recent attacks by community members on this incredibly valuable program. The City partners with PacOut on Eureka based events. These events are well coordinated with the Eureka Police Department (EPD) and Community Services Department. EPD provides notifications to all campers. Included in these notifications are visits by the City’s Homeless Outreach Workers and Mental Health staff to provide and offer services. There are very clear guidelines that personal belongings are not disposed of and are appropriately documented and stored if encountered.

I regularly receive concerns from the public regarding the trash and garbage found in our greenbelts. The environmental impacts of litter and plastic on Humboldt Bay and sensitive habitat around the Bay are well documented. The PacOut Green Team provide an invaluable service to our community and our local environment. I attend clean ups whenever I can and I strongly encourage all community members to volunteer and see for themselves the great work and service provided by the PacOut Green Team. Be a part of the solution. The more oars to row the boat makes for a healthier and more sustainable community. Join us!

Photos from Mayor Kim Bergel.