Board of Directors
Nezzie Wade President
Founding member of AHHA and president of the Board. Learning Skills Coordinator, University Learning Center (14 years); retired Sociology Professor HSU and College of the Redwoods, past Chairperson of the Humboldt County Human Rights Commission, Secretary of the Board of Directors of RCAA, and participant in numerous other local organizations and serves on Humboldt Edge Advisory Board; a 40 year resident of Humboldt County. She has provided support as an advocate in the past six years to those experiencing homeless on the streets in Eureka. Creating community through organizing, her network of allied people and agencies creates an impressive resume for leading this AHHA Village project. Her background in teaching, working with low income, high risk populations in diverse community settings, program and project development is well suited to this task.
Roy Dahlberg Vice President & Director
AHHA Board of Directors. Retired from law practice (2003). Rich history of involvement in the civil rights movement and SNCC voter registration in the south, and Viet Nam anti-war demonstrations and organizing for SDS with leadership/board role 1966. Worked as booking agent for the SF Mime Troupe, business agent for Film Workers’ Union, and a Street/Guerilla theater group in the San Francisco. Attended Martin Luther King School of Law at UC Davis in 1973, in 1976 was admitted to the CA Bar. He worked for CA State Public Defender doing appellate criminal defense, visited clients in most of the prisons in California; worked briefly in private criminal defense, then for the Sacramento County Public Defender; and the Military Law Project of the National Lawyers Guild. Worked to mitigate against the Sacramento Area Flood Control Association/Army Corps of Engineers for the construction impact of raising the East Sacramento River Levee. Relocated to Humboldt in 2012. Served on the Humboldt Grand Jury 2013-14.
Debra Carey Co-Founder & Director
Activist in Southern Humboldt for homeless housing and civil rights. Debra helped found AHHA, has secured housing and safe, legal places for people for decades, and assisted homeless people access services. Debra is a founder of the grassroots organization Community Help in Living Local (CHILL) focused on building and improving community relations, and a member of Southern Humboldt Working Together, a 501(c)(3) organized to improve community.
Edie Jessup Secretary
Retired to Humboldt County in 2013, has an 8 year history of Homeless Shelter operations, Director of Family Services and Administrative and Policy Development with York County Shelter Programs in Maine, and 15 years community organizing in Fresno with low income, underserved communities with food access and policy; and community leadership development with diverse communities. She has worked at the state level on food policy. In Humboldt County she serves on the boards of Food for People, Locally Delicious, the Humboldt Food Policy Council, and the Advisory Board for Humboldt Edge homeless newspaper. She is a member of the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and the Social Action Committee.
Winchell Dillenbeck, Treasurer
AHHA Board of Directors. Studied Human Behavior, obtained certificates for Financial Social Worker Coach and Educator and Credit Counselor, and served as President for the Statewide Coalition for Quality Credit Counseling. He has a long history in counseling and working with educators teaching budgeting and financial literacy to individuals and families from diverse backgrounds. Winchell created Consumer Credit Counseling Service and served as the Executive Director utilizing his administrative and organizational skills. His experience in administering the Social Security Payee Program serves AHHA well. Winchell has also served on numerous non-profit boards. His experiences related to understanding mental health and substance abuse issues for people experiencing poverty and homelessness, such as stigma through criminalization, have fueled his passion for economic and social justice.
Marc Delany Director
40 years of experience in the design and development of affordable housing;. He has experienced in both for profit and non-profit corporations developing housing alternatives, including 6 years as the Housing Construction Supervisor for the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing reviewing all construction, construction documents, issues and policy for Federal, State and Local financing programs, single family to multi-unit development to $ 20-25 million annually. Supervision of Non-Profit Housing Development of 900 units annually. Marc has also served on the Historic Design Review Committee for the City of Arcata and the Humboldt County Grand Jury. He has background in community housing and fund development.
Maggie Madden, Director
Maggie moved to Humboldt in 2009 to obtain a teaching credential. She currently works as a substitute teacher for Eureka City Schools. Maggie and her 6-year old have been homeless twice in Humboldt and are grateful to be currently housed. Maggie is joining the board of the Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council. She is also involved with the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Maggie is passionate about the protection of sacred sites. She speaks an intermediate level of Spanish.
Michael Avcollie, Director
Michael received his BA in Communications from UCLA and is currently a graduate student in Environmental Science at Humboldt State University. He is also working full time with Redwood Coast Energy Authority implementing new programs. He has affinity for and experience in natural building and renewable energy systems. Mike has ten years of experience in the building trades working as a carpenter and electrician and is familiar with the building planning, permitting and design processes. Additionally, Mike has work experience with supportive residential programs as lead counselor and as house manager responsible for staffing, compliance and licensing requirements.
For regular meeting times see our events.
Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives
“Safe Warm and Dry First!”
AHHA-HumCo Vision Statement
“Everyone has a human right to a safe and legal place to live.”
AHHA-HumCo Mission Statement
“AHHA provides information, education, advocacy and policy development for affordable housing with the homeless in Humboldt County.
AHHA facilitates implementation of models and assists in operations with community groups.”
AHHA Guiding Principles
– Everyone has the right to Safe, Legal Shelter with Dignity and Respect.
– Being Safe, Warm and Dry First! is a required condition, to achieve a healthy, productive life.
– The whole community benefits when everyone feels safe and respected.
– A healthy community provides opportunities for those less fortunate and shares its resources.
– The lack of affordable housing is the main cause of homelessness.
– The definition of affordable housing needs to change to reflect the needs of the houseless and unsheltered. Alternative affordable housing options give houseless people choices and create less impact on Humboldt County.
– County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) could be more effectively distributed by implementing a variety of housing options proven to be successful in other areas.
– Participants in these alternative options would be more self-sufficient.
– AHHA will continue to declare a Shelter Crisis using CA Code 7.8 Section 8698-8698.2 “Declaration of a shelter crisis” which means a significant number of persons are without shelter, resulting in a threat to their health and safety.[CA Govt Code 8698 (d)]
AHHA Goals include developing a variety of affordable homeless housing alternatives
– Resident and Non-profit Co-Managed Micro Housing Villages with community kitchens, gardens, rest-rooms/showers and micro-businesses.
– Campgrounds throughout the county, located near to services.
– Camp sanctuaries for cars, in tents, in RVs, open tent camping, and bike and ride.
– Church camping in tents, cars, RVs.
– Zoning variances to allow residential camping and micro housing on residential, city and county properties. Foreclosures and land trust opportunities.
– Rest Areas; places for legal, safe sleep, open 24/7.
– Locations in County and City parks, schools, vacant buildings, and private property.
– Hygiene Stations: showers, restroom, water, waste disposal and lockers.
– Youth Camps, Farm-Worker Housing and Nomadic Campgrounds.
– Active engagement of our community and organizations to build strong, collaborative Working Groups, successful, and community coalitions that create housing/shelter alternatives for homeless and maximize affordable housing options.
See AHHA’s Events page for upcoming meetings and other community events.
HOW we work together is as important as WHAT we create in working together. We are striving to be and to develop collaborative individuals and communities as we build affordable homeless housing alternatives. All are welcome to join us.
AHHA is made up of a Board of Directors, Working Groups/Committees who work with each other and the larger Humboldt community on selecting sites, outreach, fundraising, media and reaching our goals, whether longer term or more short term, like creating sanctuary camps and micro housing villages.