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