Merry Christmas from all of us at the McKinleyville Press!
Monthly Archives: December 2012
Well, maybe not exactly a miracle, but it was pretty cool last Friday when a group of volunteers put the McKinleyville Community Christmas Tree back up after it was toppled by high winds a few days earlier. A call for volunteers went out on the McKinleyville Press Facebook page. One hour later there were more than half a dozen volunteers gathered to put the tree back up.
It turned out to be a much more difficult task than the volunteers first imagined. The tree was heavy and water laden. Raw manpower alone couldn’t lift it.
So a block and tackle system was used to get the tree upright, It took several tries and 45 minutes of work, but the job got done.
Pictured from left are Matt Marak, Wade Smith, Mark Perkins, Erin Mikolai and David Haley. All but Smith are employees of Cabinets by Andy, which sent over a crew with equipment, including power tools to screw the base of the tree back down onto the platform.
There were other volunteers, but I didn’t get all their names.
The tree is a little battered and has a slight Charlie Brown quality to it, but it’s still beautiful. Maybe even a little more beautiful when you think about it.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Winter Shelter Program is providing respite from the harsh winter weather for many homeless families and individuals in Humboldt County.
The 2012-2013 Winter Shelter Program began Nov. 19 and runs through April 12, 2013. It provides 22 rooms for individuals and families at motels throughout the county, from Garberville to Eureka to Hoopa.
Last winter, DHHS’ Winter Shelter Program housed a total of 72 families. This year, the program has expanded to include individuals as well as families. Applicant screenings are ongoing.
The program is designed to provide short-term lodging. Those who are eligible can receive motel vouchers for up to six weeks. Its purpose is to shield people from the elements while connecting them with services to help them get back on their feet and into more stable housing.
“There’s a vital need for winter shelter to protect vulnerable, unhoused families and individuals from the wet and cold,” said DHHS Assistant Director Barbara LaHaie. LaHaie added that the Winter Shelter Program is but one link in the county’s continuum of care for homeless people.
In addition to DHHS’ Winter Shelter Program, temporary and transitional housing is available in Humboldt County through the Redwood Community Action Agency’s (RCAA) Multiple Assistance Center (MAC), the Arcata Night Shelter, the Eureka Rescue Mission and other programs. RCAA’s Youth Service Bureau’s Transitional Housing Plus program provides transitional housing to 18- to 24-year-olds who have been emancipated from the foster care or probation systems.
While DHHS’ program is currently full, interviews to determine eligibility for future openings are held on a first-come, first-served basis Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (excluding county holidays) at DHHS’ Social Services office, located at 929 Koster St. in Eureka. Social Services staff will also be available to conduct interviews at DHHS’ Garberville Outstation at 727 Cedar St. in Garberville and at the Hoopa Outstation located at K’ima:w Medical Center, 1200 Airport Road in Hoopa.
DHHS is once again using the scattered site model it piloted in 2010. Multiple motels at venues around the county are being used to house families and individuals, instead of housing large numbers of people in a single motel. This allows people to stay in their communities, LaHaie said.
Once a week, social workers visit program participants and provide comprehensive case management services aimed at assisting them in their transition from homelessness to permanent housing.
As part of DHHS’ shelter program, families receiving CalWORKs will be assessed to see if they are eligible for the MAC. The MAC is a community-living program for families in transition that combines safe and clean temporary housing with in-depth case management and on-site direct services.
While the exact number of homeless in Humboldt County is unknown, biennial Point-in-Time counts, conducted by the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition (HHHC), provide a snapshot of who experiences homelessness throughout the year.
The most recent Point-in-Time Count, which was conducted by the HHHC in 2011, found that 1,480 people were without housing in the county, including more than 400 children. The HHHC is currently seeking volunteers for its next count, scheduled for late January.
In Humboldt County, the HHHC is the lead organization for homeless issues and the federally designated continuum of care. The HHHC is a coalition of housing advocates, businesses, funders, elected officials, service and housing providers, faith-based organizations and other community stakeholders working together to identify and address local housing needs.
For more information about the HHHC, call 707-441-4613. For more information about the 2013 Point-in-Time Count, call 707-498-4761. For more information about the DHHS Winter Shelter Program, call DHHS Social Services at 707-269-4127.
Here’s a press release from the Sheriff’s Department, as well as a good song to go with it:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public that mail theft is a continuing problem, especially this time of year. Thieves steal mail from unsecured mail boxes, before and after the delivery truck arrives. The thieves are typically looking for money, blank checks, packages, personal information and credit card information. During the holidays this becomes more lucrative for the thieves due to holiday cards and packages being mailed. Some ways you can protect yourself are:
- Have a secured locking mailbox
- Use the letter slots at your post office to mail letters, a postal box or give them to a letter carrier.
- Pick up your mail promptly after delivery. Don’t leave it in your mailbox overnight.
- Don’t send cash in the mail.
- Ask your bank for “secure” checks that can’t be altered.
- Tell your post office when you’ll be out of town, so they can hold your mail until you return
- Neighborhood watch
Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
The recent storm dropped a tree on the water tank of the Westhaven Community Services District, damaging the tank, and contaminating the water with debris.
Westhaven residents are advised to drink bottled or boiled water for the next few days, until further notice. For more details, call the WCSD at 677-0798.
Caltrans District 1 – Eureka: Route 299 in Humboldt County. R1 chain control at Berry Summit. R1 chain control means chains or snow tread tires required. Snow tires must have a tread depth of 6/36″ with “M & S” imprint on the tire’s sidewall. Carry emergency supplies. Use caution. Before traveling and during your trip, be sure to check current road conditions by calling the California Highway Information Network at 1-800-427-7623, or by visiting www.dot.ca.gov .