Affordable Housing Alternatives Community Forum with Andrew Heben

Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives (AHHA) was founded on the belief that everyone has a human right to a safe and legal place to live. Safe, Warm and Dry First! In 2014 AHHA held a forum with Andrew Heben from Opportunity Village in Eugene, Oregon on the successful development of tiny house villages. This model of truly affordable housing was the basis of AHHA developing proposals for immediate, affordable, safe Sanctuary Camping, Safe Parking Programs, and Tiny House Villages as a response to the lack of affordable housing for the over 1300 persons living rough in Humboldt County. Here is a link to the video: click here Also take a look at two new resource links we’ve added to the site: (these can also be found in the “Resources” link up above) Dan Bryant TedX Talk Dan Bryant on Religion and Ethics Have a great day!  

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Concrete crushed, Eureka’s Waterfront Trail underway

Less than one month after homeless were evicted from the Palco Marsh in Eureka, construction for the city’s new Waterfront Trail is underway. Years of graffiti and artwork on concrete structures and drying kilns from the former Pacific Lumber Mill site are now piles of rubble. The mill’s old reservoir is slated to be demolished next. This is Phase A of the trail. The concrete will be crushed down to gravel size and used as a base for the future laying of asphalt. The Waterfront Trail will run from the end of Truesdale Street to the foot of Del Norte Street. “Well we knew we needed to take those structures down as part of the Waterfront Trail. They’re a liability, they’re a hazard back there and we’ve had homeless people camping in them over the years. So the idea was to take them down but then you’ve got a lot of material there. So rather than haul it off, it made sense to crush it and use it as base for the trail,” said Greg Sparks, Eureka City Manager. Once...

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Lawsuit seeks to suspend Eureka’s marsh eviction deadline

A federal lawsuit filed Monday afternoon is challenging the constitutionality of the May 2 deadline that Eureka gave to nearly 150 homeless campers to vacate from city-owned property at Palco Marsh. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by local attorney Peter Martin on behalf of 11 homeless residents who currently live illegally in the marsh area. Speaking to the Times-Standard on Monday afternoon, Martin said he filed the lawsuit to prevent “a humanitarian disaster in the making.” “When you’re going to be moving people and they have nowhere to go, that’s going to be problematic,” he said. The lawsuit seeks a court order to prevent the city from enforcing its May 2 eviction and property seizure until adequate housing is made available and living assistance funding is provided to the evicted. The Eureka City Council, the Eureka Police Department, and EPD Chief Andrew Mills have been named in the lawsuit. In March, the city announced it would give anyone camping until May 2 to voluntarily vacate the city property at the Palco Marsh in order for the city...

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Despite Uncertainty, Homeless Container Community Project Plows Forward

The city of Eureka received one response to its request for proposals to help the soon-to-be-displaced homeless people currently residing behind the Bayshore Mall, and it appears to dead on arrival. City Manager Greg Sparks said he’s currently reviewing the proposal submitted by the local nonprofit Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives with an eye on making a recommendation to the city council at its next meeting, on May 2, the same day the city will be forcing the 140 to 200 people living in the marsh to go elsewhere. But AHHA’s proposal seems very unlikely to go anywhere, as it violates the city’s stated requirements that any proposal to help provide a living space for homeless people be free to the city and temporary in nature. AHHA’s proposal asks the city to spend between $50,000 and $150,000 for one to three sanctuary camps that would accommodate 30 to 90 people. The proposal also makes clear that AHHA’s vision is for camps that could become self-sustaining after their first year, which seems unlikely to fit the city’s definition of temporary. If implemented,...

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City-Approved Eureka Homeless Camp Plan Gains New Steam

Eureka has tried and failed before, but there’s now another concerted push underway to develop a legal, sanctioned, managed homeless encampment to serve the city’s homeless population, and the process seems to be moving rather quickly. This afternoon the nonprofit group Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives (AHHA) will unveil its “Sanctuary Camp Proposal” at a meeting of stakeholders and other interested parties at the St. Vincent de Paul free meal kitchen in Old Town. The meeting, which starts at 2 p.m. today, comes fresh on the heels of a surprise speech Mayor Frank Jager delivered at the end of the Eureka City Council’s regular meeting last Tuesday. Out of the blue, Jager called on the city to buck the advice given by the city’s consultant on homelessness issues, Focus Strategies, by developing a legal encampment in conjunction with a nonprofit such as AHHA. The idea, Jager said, would be to move homeless people out of the Palco Marsh/Devil’s Playground area as soon as possible, in time for work to begin on a new section of the Waterfront Trail. He said —...

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An AHHA Moment

Eureka has struggled with what to do with the sprawling community of homeless people camped behind the Bayshore Mall for more than a year. With construction due to begin on a waterfront trail this spring, the more than 100 people currently living in the Palco Marsh may soon have to leave. Mayor Frank Jager acknowledged the time-crunch in a surprise speech delivered at the close of the March 1 city council meeting, dropping the mic (well, banging the gavel) after startling the audience with an unanticipated request to the council: Talk to city staff and come back with a proposal for a temporary sanctuary camp in early April. “I’ve been concerned about this for some time, it’s something I didn’t think I’d be in favor of but, looking into the future, I’ve seen some serious problems for the city, so I want to come forward,” Jager said. He added that he has confidence that the Housing First strategy endorsed by consultancy group Focus Strategies will work, but this longer-range plan is insufficient to address the immediate need of those currently...

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Homeless advocates to unveil sanctuary camp plan

Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives, a local nonprofit advocacy group, invites public comment during the presentation of its pilot “sanctuary camp proposal” at a Monday afternoon meeting at the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Facility in Eureka. According to an AHHA press release, the group wants to answer questions, address concerns and take community suggestions on its plan to establish a safe and legal sanctuary for the homeless during the meeting. Eureka Mayor Frank Jager at the end of Tuesday’s City Council meeting expressed support for a temporary encampment to house people now camping illegally in the Palco Marsh who will be displaced by the construction of the Waterfront Trail. “We’re not going to be able to house 250 people in the next two and a half months when we begin construction,” Jager said, asking the council to direct city staff to return the council before mid-April with a proposal for a possible camp site, to be run by a nonprofit group. He added that he would be opposed to a permanent camp within Eureka but it would be up to...

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