Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Human Rights Commission To Humboldt Board Of Supervisors "Declare an Emergency Shelter Crisis".

Note: The original headline read Council rather than Commission and has been changed to read correct. 
(under Open Letters to BOS and supporting document on Shelter Crisis in Humboldt County)

June 2, 2016

Mark Lovelace, Chairperson
Board of Supervisors
County of Humboldt
825 5th Street, Room 111
Eureka, CA  95501

Dear Supervisor Lovelace and Members of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors,

Over a month ago the Human Rights Commission (HRC) made an urgent call to you to proactively intervene in the planned displacement of 150 to 200 people living in the Palco Marsh in Eureka, asking you to do whatever possible to stop this action violating human rights and to invoke a higher authority if necessary. We have not received a response from the Board. We have not seen or heard a public comment from the Board addressing those who have been disbursed and whose lives are in greater danger due to this disbursement.

The Commission recognizes its responsibility is to make recommendations to the County Board of Supervisors regarding all human rights issues. Thus, the Commission has advised and continues to urge the Board to fulfill the following requests immediately:

Declare an Emergency Shelter Crisis.
Collaborate with the City of Eureka to resolve this crisis.
Designate areas in the County for homeless/houseless people to live in a legal, safe and healthy place until such time as the Homeless Strategy and Implementation Plan is fully implemented and permanent housing is available;
Encourage the city to designate long-term legal, safe living places to be available for homeless/houseless people until such time as the Homeless Strategy and Implementation Plan is fully implemented and permanent housing is available;
Encourage the respectful treatment and decriminalization of all homeless/houseless people in Humboldt County.
With the exception of approximately 40 Palco Marsh campers taking up residence in the Containers on 3rd Street, those previously living in the Marsh are now on the streets. They are seeking shelter in greenbelts, getting ticketed and arrested, losing their personal property, and as a group, more than ever, experiencing an inability to obtain safe, legal shelter. Their health and safety is threatened now more than ever. The majority of them have disabilities. Many have dual disabilities. They can't stay here and there is no place for them to go. These are your constituents as are many of their children, parents and grandparents. Despite the recommendations of Focus Strategies, numerous advocacy groups, many individuals, and much evidence that disbursing encampments is not advised for reasons of creating more instability and potential health and safety hazards for all, the Palco Marsh encampment was disbursed with few places for people to go day or night. A federal court judge on behalf of 11 plaintiffs living at the Palco Marsh, in a suit against the City of Eureka and its Chief of Police, on Friday April 1, 2016, granted a Temporary Restraining Order for the scheduled May 2 eviction because he recognizes the residents would sustain great harm in being removed from their homes in the encampment with nowhere to go.

The Commission urges the Board of Supervisors to take immediate action to establish legal campgrounds and safe parking areas throughout the County. We advise the board to follow through with all items the Commission recommends above. Ignoring the Commission's call for a Shelter Crisis Declaration, and not providing safe places for those residents now displaced throughout Humboldt County, clearly exacerbates problems of daily living for the houseless, those most in need among your constituents.

The Commission further advises the Board of Supervisors to move forward with community partners on immediate affordable, safe, legal alternatives such as sanctuary camps and safe parking programs for the large number of homeless in Humboldt until such time as the Homeless Strategy and Implementation Plan is fully implemented and permanent housing is available. As always, the HRC is prepared to help the Board of Supervisors and invites suggestions from the Board as to how the HRC can be of service.


The Humboldt County Human Rights Commission

Nezzie Wade, Chair

Cc: Clerk of the Board; Humboldt County Administration; Cities in Humboldt County; media (print, air and social).

Support Document providing background on HRC-BOS Shelter Crisis issue can be found on the HRC website at under Open Letter - Shelter Crisis, June 2016.

more info:
Contact: Nezzie Wade,


  1. That was longwinded in the face of the past month where Eureka, not county, and coastal commission, not county, have jurisdiction.

    Media and local gubbamint reported all those pesky data numbers with regard to what happened to homeless after the Pasco eviction.

    Obviously, the data must be verified since things were done out at Palco and Betty Chin, others have provided places to sleep, eat and poop.

    Update on numbers again, changes have taken place.

    Interesting how media avoids the topic of public restrooms and gubbamint buildings and ADA issues. Hell, county avoids bid proposals with restrooms. Why?

    The transgender issues.

  2. I don't buy your argument about restrooms. Arcata doesn't have a problem with trying to figure out whom may use their Portland Loo because it is open to all species.

  3. Tom, not talking about that kinda groovy restroom, but am talking about exampkes where gubbamint, within a bid proposal for facilities to be rented for gubbamint purposes, are not including restrooms with an occupancy load, no pun intended, of more than one at a time.

    The groovy toilet Portland loot is not your typical "larger" restroom.

    Where is the portland loot, for it is good to test it with a poot, afterall, personal experience is a hoot.

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