Uhm, the homeless?? | Lost Coast Outpost | Humboldt County

Kathryn Corbett asks Matthew Owen, Scott Bauer, Liza Welsh, Eddie Morgan, William Tuttle

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Uhm, the homeless??

Not one of you candidates even mentioned the challenging subject of seeking effective solutions for this situation that affects us all. Can anyone step up to the plate with this one?

— Kathryn Corbett

Response

Matthew Owen

 

Great question Kathryn.

 

Homeless is not a crime. Your heart would break if you knew how many single moms with kids are sleeping in their cars here in Eureka.

 

I believe in the “Housing First” model, which states you put the homeless in housing regardless of their mental health issues and/or drug & alcohol addictions. The key to this is wrapping social services around the housing element.

 

We’ve made a lot of progress in housing the homeless here recently. Danco’s “Bayview Heights” housing project, with 50 one-bedroom units is now taking in homeless veterans. This is the new project on 4th Street by the Co-Op.

 

https://www.danco-group.com/projects/bayview-heights

 

Danco also has the “Phyllis Rex Samoa Townhomes” project, which is about to come online with 80 units for low-income families in Samoa.

 

https://www.danco-group.com/projects/phyllis-rex-samoa-townhomes

 

Probably the biggest contribution I’ve done for the homeless is the former Budget Motel on 4th Street. The City of Eureka condemned it after numerous health and safety violations. The property was then sold to a group of investors, which happened to be clients of mine. They had ideas to remodel the motel and the City had different ideas. So it sat idle for almost two years collection graffiti, weeds and vagrant transients. I sat down with one of the investors and City Department head and we worked out a compromise, where I turned the owners onto a contractor in my Rotary Club. They turned this once blighted motel into the Humboldt Inn. Recently St. Joseph’s Healthcare has leased out all the units out for 49 homeless men to live.

 

https://www.times-standard.com/2020/09/22/californias-homekey-program-to-help-st-joseph-build-housing-in-eureka/

 

In addition I’ve been a huge supporter and volunteer with Betty Chinn, The Eureka Rescue Mission, Teen Challenge and the Salvation Army.