Sur­vey: More than half home­less lived in county 20+ years

Times Standard (Eureka) - - LOCAL NEWS -

Less than a third of home­less peo­ple in Eu­reka were born in Hum­boldt County, a re­cent sur­vey of 211 home­less peo­ple in the Eu­reka area con­ducted by the Eu­reka Po­lice Depart­ment’s Com­mu­nity Safety En­hance­ment Team re­vealed.

The sur­vey, con­ducted over the pe­riod of a month from March 8 through April 4, showed 28.37% of re­spon­dents were born and raised in the county. But many have lived lo­cally for decades: 23.08% have lived in the county for at least 20 years, which means more than half of the home­less sur­veyed lived in Hum­boldt County 20 years or more. Only 15.87% have lived in the county for less than two years.

Just over a quar­ter of those sur­veyed (25.73%) re­ported to have lived in an­other county in the state prior to being home­less and an ad­di­tional 15.53% lived in dif­fer­ent states be­fore be­com­ing home­less.

38.35% lived in Eu­reka when they be­came home­less.

10% of those sur­veyed re­ported to be Na­tive Amer­i­can, a trou­ble­some statis­tic ac­cord­ing to EPD Sar­gent Leonard La France.

“It’s a very dis­pro­por­tional rate for (Eu­reka),” La France said. “We want to bring peo­ple and de­part­ments across the county to­gether to ad­dress that is­sue.”

La France said the county’s Na­tive Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion is just less than 3%.

76.78% of re­spon­dents iden­ti­fied as white.

20.87% re­ported being home­less due to un­em­ploy­ment and/or a loss of in­come. 18.45% listed drug

and/or al­co­hol abuse as their main rea­son for being home­less. 27% of re­spon­dents said they use drugs on a daily ba­sis and 37.07% said they never use drugs.

68.63% of those sur­veyed said they re­ceive gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance to pur­chase food through CalFresh or SNAP.

Nearly four-in-five (78.54%) said they use the free meal pro­gram at St. Vin­cent de Paul Din­ing Fa­cil­ity,

and over half said they use free food ser­vices from Food for Peo­ple and the Eu­reka Res­cue Mis­sion.

La France said of the is­sues fac­ing Eu­reka’s home­less com­mu­nity, ac­cess to free food is not one.

“There are plenty of op­tions for folks to get a meal in Eu­reka,” he said.

88.89% of re­spon­dents said they had no mil­i­tary ser­vice.

The large af­ford­able hous­ing unit cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion on 4th and B streets in Eu­reka will, ac­cord­ing to La France, have 35 units for home­less vet­er­ans and 15 for non-vet­eran home­less.

La France said there is still a deep need for af­ford­able hous­ing for non-vet­er­ans.

Read the sur­vey at https:// bit.ly/3hf0kI3.

SCREEN­SHOT

A sur­vey by Eu­reka po­lice found more than half of those who iden­tify as home­less have lived in the county for 20 years or more. Nearly one-third of those sur­veyed were born in Hum­boldt County.

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